Skip to main content

Full text of "Boat-building and boating"

See other formats








3 «f.A 






3 3333 02374 4382 

^Uff^carJ ^ C958407 



^.^l L-:"-::>Y center 

and Boating 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 


and Boating 


With Many Illustrations 
by the Author 

Charles Scribner's Sons 


Copyright, 1911, by 

Printed in the United States of America 

All the material in this book, both text and cuts, is original with the 
author and invented by him; and warning is hereby given that the 
unauthorized printing of any portion of the text and the reproduc- 
tion of any of the illustrations or diagrams are expressly forbidden. 






This is not a book for yacht-builders, but it is intended for 
beginners in the art of boat-building, for boys and men who wish 
to make something with which they may navigate the waters 
of ponds, lakes, or streams. It begins with the most primitive 
crafts composed of slabs or logs and works up to scows, house- 
boats, skiffs, canoes and simple forms of sailing craft, a motor- 
boat, and there it stops. There are so many books and maga- 
zines devoted to the higher arts of ship-building for the graduates 
to use, besides the many manufacturing houses which furnish all 
the parts of a sail-boat, yacht, or motor-boat for the ambitious 
boat-builder to put together himself, that it is unnecessary for the 
author to invade that territory. 

Many of the designs in this book have appeared in magazines 
to which the author contributed, or in his own books on general 
subjects, and all these have been successfully built by hundreds of 
boys and men. 

Many of them are the author's own inventions, and the others 
are his own adaptations of well-known and long-tried models. 
In writing and collecting this material for boat-builders from his 
other works and placing them in one volume, the author feels that 
he is fulfilling the wishes of many of his old readers and offering a 

viii Preface 

useful book to a large audience of new recruits to the army of 
those who believe in the good old American doctrine of: "If 
you want a thing done, do it yourself.'* And by doing it your- 
self you not only add to your skill and resourcefulness, but, what 
is even more important, you develop your own self-reliance and 

No one man can think of everything connected with any one 
subject, and the author gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness 
to several sportsmen friends, especially to his camp-mate, Mr. 
F. K. Vreeland, and his young friend, Mr. Samuel Jackson, for 
suggestions of great value to both writer and reader. 

Dan Beard. 

Flushing, L. I., Sept., 191 1, 



I. How TO Cross a Stream on a Log 3 

II. Home-Made Boats 8 

III. A Raft that Will Sail 18 

IV. Canoes 25 

V. Canoes and Boating Stunts , . . . - - - 33 

VI. The Birch-Bark ... 48 

VII. How TO Build a Paddling Dory ....,,.. 69 

VIII. The Landlubber's Chapter , 74 

IX. How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 96 

X. More Rigs of All Kinds for Small Boats . . . . iii 

XI. Knots, Bends, and Hitches 123 

XII. How TO Build a Cheap Boat 139 

XIII. A "Rough-and-Ready" Boat 154 

XIV. How TO Build Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 163 
XV. A Cheap and Speedy Motor-Boat 184 

Boat-Building and Boating 

I ) 



How to Build a Logomaran 

There is a widespread notion that all wood will float on water, 
and this idea often leads to laughable errors. I know a lot of 
young backwoods farmers who launched a raft of green oak logs, 
and were as much astonished to see their craft settle quietly to 
the bottom of the lake as they would have been to see the leaden 
sinkers of their fish-lines dance lightly on the surface of the waves. 
The young fellows used a day's time to discover what they might 
have learned in a few moments by watching the chips sink when 
they struck the water as they flew from the skilful blows of their 

The stream which cuts your trail is not always provided with 
bridges of fallen trees. It may be a river too deep to ford and 
too wide to be bridged by a chance log. Of course it is a simple 
matter to swim, but the weather may be cold and the water still 
colder; besides this, you will probably be encumbered with a 
lot of camp equipage — your gun, rod, and camera — none of which 
will be improved by a plunge in the water. Or it may so hap- 
pen that you are on the shores of a lake unsupplied with boats, 
and you have good reasons for supposing that big fish lurk in 
some particular spot out of reach from the shore. A thousand 
and one emergencies may arise when a craft of some kind will 


4 Boat-Building and Boating 

be not only a great convenience, but almost a necessity. Under 
these circumstances 

A Logomaran 

may be constructed in a very short time which can bear you and 
your pack safely to the desired goal (Fig. i). 

In the Rocky, Cascade, and Selkirk Mountains, the lakes 
and streams have their shores plentifully supplied with "whim 
sticks," logs of fine dry timber, which the freshets have brought 
down from the mountain sides and which the rocks and surging 
torrents have denuded of bark. These whim sticks are of all 




w '^ ''fii 







1 pi 

Fig. 2.— The notch. 

Fig. 3. — Top view of logomaran. 

Sizes, and as sound and perfect as kiln-dried logs. Even in the 
mountains of Pennsylvania, where the lumberman's axe years ago 
laid waste the primeval forest, where the saw-mills have devoured 
the second growth, the tie-hunter the third growth, the excelsior- 
mills and birch-beer factories the saplings, I still find good sound 

To Cross a Stream on a Log 5 

white pine-log whim sticks strewn along the shores of the lakes 
and streams, timber which is suitable for temporary rafts and 

In the North Woods, where in many localities the original 
forest is untouched by the devouring pulp-mills, suitable timber 
is not difficult to find; so let the green wood stand and select 
a log of dry wood from the shore where the floods or ice have 
deposited it. Cut it into a convenient length, and with a lever 
made of a good stout sapling, and a fulcrum of a stone or chunk 

Fig. 4. — Flattened joint. 

Matched joints. 

of wood, pry the log from its resting-place and roll it into the shal- 
low water. Notch the log on the upper side, as shown by Fig. 2, 
making a notch near each end for the cross-pieces. 

The two side floats may be made of pieces split, by the aid of 
wooden wedges, from a large log, or composed of small whim 
sticks, as shown by Fig. 3. 

The floats, as may be seen by reference to Figs, i and 3, are 
shorter than the middle log. 

It is impracticable to give dimensions, for the reason that they 
are relative; the length of the middle log depends, to some extent, 
upon its diameter, it being evident that a thick log will support 
more than a thin one of the same length; consequently if your 
log is of small diameter, it must be longer, in order to support 
your weight, than will be necessary for a thicker piece of timber. 
The point to remember is to select a log which will support you and 
your pack, and then attach two side floats to balance your craft and 
prevent it from rolling over and dumping its load in the water. 

An ordinary single shell-boat without a passenger will upset, 
but when the oarsman takes his seat and grasps his long spoon 


Boat-Building and Boating 

oars, the sweeps, resting on the water, balance the cranky craft, 
and it cannot upset as long as the oars are kept there. This is 
the principle of the logomaran, as well as that of the common cata- 
maran. The cross-pieces should be only thick enough to be se- 

Fig. 7. — The saw-buck crib. 

Fig. 8.— The staked crib. 

cure and long enough to prevent the log from wabbling and wet- 
ting your feet more than is necessary. 

If You Have an Auger and No Nails 

the craft may be fastened together with wooden pegs cut some- 
what larger than the holes bored to receive them, and driven in 
with blows from your axe. 

If you have long nails or spikes the problem is a simple one; 
but if you have neither auger, nails, nor spikes you must bind the 
joints with rope or hempen twine. 

If you have neither nails, auger, nor rope, a good substitute 
for the latter can be made from the long, 

To Cross a Stream on a Log 7 

Fibrous Inner Bark 

of a dead or partly burned tree. For experiment I took some 
of the inner bark of a chestnut-tree which had been killed by 
fire and twisted it into a rope the size of a clothes-line, then I 
allowed two strong men to have a tug-of-war with it, and the 
improvised rope was stronger than the men. 

How to Make a Fibre Rope 

Take one end of a long, loose strand of fibres, give the other 
end to another person, and let both twine the ends between the 
fingers until the material is well twisted throughout its entire 
length; then bring the two ends together, and two sides of the 
loop thus made will twist themselves into a cord or rope half the 
length of the original strand. 

If you nail or peg the parts, use your axe to flatten the joints 
by striking off a chip, as in Fig. 4. 

If you must lash the joints together, cut them with log-cabin 
notches, as in Figs. 5 and 6. 

If you have baggage to transport, make 

A Dunnage Crib 

by driving four stakes in cuts made near the end of the centre 
log and binding them with rope or fibre (Figs. 7 and 8), or by 
working green twigs basket-fashion around them, or make the 
rack saw-buck fashion, as shown by Fig. 7, and this will keep 
your things above water. 

A couple of cleats nailed on each side of the log will be of 
great assistance and lessen the danger and insecurity of the footing. 

A skilfully made logomaran will enable you to cross any 
stream with a moderate current and any small lake in moderate 
weather. It is not an especially dry craft, but it won't sink or 
upset, and will take one but a short time to knock it together. 



Birth of the "Man-Friday" Catamaran— The Crusoe Raft and 

Chump Rafts 

Not so very many years ago I remember visiting, in company 
with my cousin Tom, a small lake at the headwaters of the 
Miami. High and precipitous cliffs surround the little body of 
water. So steep were the great weather-beaten rocks that it 
was only where the stream came tumbling down past an old 
mill that an accessible path then existed. Down that path Tom 
and I scrambled, for we knew that large bass lurked in the deep, 
black holes among the rocks. 

We had no jointed split-bamboo rods nor fancy tackle, but 
the fish there in those days were not particular and seldom 
hesitated to bite at an angle-worm or grasshopper though the 
hook upon which the bait squirmed was suspended by a coarse 
line from a freshly cut hickory sapling. 

Even now I feel the thrill of excitement and expectancy as, 
in imagination, my pole is bent nearly double by the frantic strug- 
gles of those "gamy" black bass. After spending the morning 
fishing we built a fire upon a short stretch of sandy beach, and 
cleaning our fish and washing them in the spring close at hand, 
we put them among the embers to cook. 

While the fire was getting our dinner ready for us we threw 
off our clothes and plunged into the cool waters of the lake. In- 
expert swimmers as we were at that time, the opposite shore, 
though apparently only a stone's throw distant, was too far off 
for us to reach by swimming. Many a longing and curious 


Home-Made Boats 


glance we cast toward it, however, and strong was the tempta- 
tion that beset us to try the unknown depths intervening. A 
pair of brown ears appeared above the ferns near the water's 
edge, and a fox peeped at us; squirrels ran about the fallen 
trunks of trees or scampered up the rocks as saucily as though 
they understood that we could not swim well enough to reach 

Fig. 8i.— The Man-Friday. 

their side of the lake; and high up the face of the cliff was a dark 
spot which we almost knew to be the entrance to some mysteri- 
ous cavern. 

How we longed for a boat! But not even a raft nor a dug- 
out could be seen anywhere upon the glassy surface of the water 
or along its rocky border. We nevertheless determined to ex- 
plore the lake next day, even if we should have to paddle astride 
of a log. 

The first rays of the morning sun had not reached the dark 
waters before my companion and I were hard at work, with axe 
and hatchet, chopping in twain a long log we had discovered 
near the mill. We had at first intended to build a raft; but 
gradually we evolved a sort of catamaran. The two pieces of 
log we sharpened at the ends for the bow; then we rolled the 
logs down upon the beach, and while I went into the thicket to 
chop down some saplings my companion borrowed an auger 

10 Boat-Building and Boating 

from the miller. We next placed the logs about three feet 
apart, and marking the points where we intended to put the 
cross-pieces, we cut notches there; then we placed the saplings 
across, fitting them into these notches. To hold them securely 
we bored holes down through the sapling cross-pieces into the 
logs; with the hatchet we hammered wooden pegs into these 
holes. For the seat we used the half of a section of log, the flat 
side fitting into places cut for that purpose. All that remained 
to be done now was to make a seat in the stern and a pair of 
rowlocks. At a proper distance from the oarsman's seat we 
bored two holes for a couple of forked sticks, which answered 
admirably for rowlocks; across the stern we fastened another 
piece of log similar to that used for the oarsman's seat (Fig. SJ). 
With the help of a man from the mill our craft was launched; 
and with a pair of oars made of old pine boards we rowed off, 
leaving the miller waving his hat. 

Our catamaran was not so light as a row-boat, but it floated, 
and we could propel it with the oars, and, best of all, it was our 
own invention and made with our own hands. We called it a 
"Man-Friday," and by its means we explored every nook in 
the length and breadth of the lake; and ever afterward when 
we wanted a boat we knew a simple and inexpensive way to 
make one — and a safe one, too. 

The Crusoe Raft 

is another rustic craft, but it is of more ambitious dimensions 
than the "Man-Friday." Instead of being able to float only 
one or two passengers, the "Crusoe," if properly built, ought 
to accommodate a considerable party of raftsmen. Of course 
the purpose for which the raft is to be used, and the number of 
the crew that is expected to man it, must be taken into considera- 
tion when deciding upon the dimensions of the proposed craft. 
All the tools that are necessary for the construction of a good 
stout raft are an axe, an auger, and a hatchet, with some strong 
arms to wield them. 

Home-Made Boats 


The building material can be gathered from any driftwood 
heap on lake or stream. 

For a moderate-sized raft collect six or seven logs, the longest 
not being over sixteen feet in length nor more than a foot in 
diameter; the logs must be tolerably straight. Pick out the 
longest and biggest for the centre, sharpen one end, roll the 
log into the water, and there secure it. 

Select two logs as nearly alike as possible, to lie one at each 
side of the centre log. Measure the centre log, and make the 

Fig. 9. — Plan of Crusoe raft. 

point of each side log, not at its own centre, but at that side of 
it which will lie against the middle log, so that this side point 
shall terminate where the pointing of the middle log begins (see 

Fig. 9)- 

After all the logs needed have been trimmed and sharpened 
in the manner just described, roll them into the water and ar- 
range them in order (Fig. 9). Fasten them together with "cross- 
strips," boring holes through the strips to correspond with holes 
bored into the logs lying beneath, and through these holes drive 
wooden pegs. The pegs should be a trifle larger than the holes; 
the water will cause the pegs to swell, and they will hold much 
more firmly than iron nails. 

Fig. 10.— Skeleton of Crusoe raft. 

Fig. 11. — Crusoe with cabin covered- 

Home-Made Boats 13 

The skeleton of the cabin can be made of saplings; such as 
are used for hoop-poles are the best. 

These are each bent into an arch, and the ends are thrust 
into holes bored for that purpose. Over this hooping a piece of 
canvas is stretched, after the manner of old-fashioned country 
wagons (Figs. lo and ii). 

Erect a "jack-staff," to be used as a flag-pole or a mast to 
rig a square sail on. 

A stout stick should be erected at the stem, and a similar 
one upon each side of the raft near the bow; these sticks, when 

Fig. 12. — Sweeps. 

their ends are made smaller, as shown in the illustration (Fig. 
lo), serve as rowlocks. 

For oars use "sweeps" — long poles, each with a piece of board 
for a blade fastened at one end (Fig. 12). 

Holes must be bored through the poles of the sweeps about 
three feet from the handle, to slip over the pegs used as row- 
locks, as described above. These pegs should be high enough 
to allow the oarsman to stand while using the sweeps. 

A flat stone or earth box placed at the bow will serve as a fire- 

If the cracks between the logs under the cabin are filled up 
to prevent the water splashing through, and the cabin is floored 
with cross-sticks, a most comfortable bed at night can be made of 
hay, by heaping it under the canvas cover in sufficient quantities. 

The Crusoe raft has this great advantage over all boats: you 
may take a long trip down the river, allowing the current to bear 
you along, using the sweeps only to assist the man at the helm 
(rear sweep); then, after your excursion is finished vou may 


Boat-Buildi7ig and Boating 

abandon your raft and return by steam-boat or train. A very 
useful thing to the swimmers, when they are skylarking in the 
water, is 

The Chump's Raft 

Its construction is simple. Four boards, each about six feet 
long, are nailed together in the form of a square, with the ends 
of the boards protruding, like the figure drawn upon a school- 
boy's slate for the game of "Tit, tat, toe" (Fig. 13). 

Fig. 13.— The chump's raft. 

All nail-points must be knocked off and the heads hammered 
home, to prevent serious scratches and wounds on the bather's 
body when he clambers over the raft or slips off in an attempt to 
do so (Fig. 14). 

Beginners get in the middle hole, and there, with a support 
within reach all around them, they can venture with compara- 
tive safety in deep water. 

The raft, which I built as a model fifteen years ago, is still in 
use at my summer camp, where scores of young people have 
used it with a success proved by their present skill as swim- 
mers. But m_any camps are located in a section ^f the countrv 

Home-Made Boats 


where boards are as scarce as boarding-houses, but where timber, 
in its rough state, exists in abundance. The campers in such 
locations can make 

A Chump's Raft of Logs 

Such a float consists of two dried logs fastened together at each 
end by cross-slabs, so as to form a rude catamaran. These rafts 
can be towed through deep water by a canoe or row-boat, with 

Fig, 14. — A beginner in a chump's raft. 

the tenderfoot securely swung in a sling between the logs, where 
he may practice the hand-and-foot movement with a sense of 
security which only the certainty that he is surrounded by a 
wooden life-preserver will give him. Fig. 15 shows a top view 
of the new chump's raft. In Fig. 16 the two logs are connected 
fore and aft by cross-slabs; two more upright slabs are nailed 
securely to the side of the logs; notches having been cut in the 
top ends of these slabs, a stout cross-piece is securely nailed to 
them and the towel or rope sling suspended from the middle of 


Boat-Building and Boating 

the cross-piece. In regard to the dimensions of the raft it is only 
necessary to say that it should be wide and long enough to allow 
free movement of the arms and legs of the pupil who is suspended 
between the logs. In almost every wilderness stream there can 

Fig. 15. — Looking down on a chump's raft in motion. 

be found piles of driftwood on the shore where one may select 
good, dried, well-seasoned pine or spruce logs from which to 
make rafts. If such heaps of driftwood are not within reach, look 
for some standing dead timber and select that which is of suf- 
ficient dimensions to support a swimmer, and be careful that it is 
not hollow or rotten in the core. Rotten wood will soon become 

Fig. 16. — Side view of chump's loq raft. 

water-logged and heavy. Fig. 17 shows the position of the 
swimmer supported by the chump's sling. If your raft has a 
tendency to work so that one log pulls ahead of the other, it may 
be braced by cross-pieces, such as are shown at J and K in Fig. 
18. This figure also shows supports for a suspension polo made 

Home-Made Boats 


by nailing two sticks to each side and allowing the ends to cross 
so as to form a crotch in which the supporting rod rests and to 
which it is securely fastened by nails, or by being bound there by 
a piece of rope, as in A, Fig. 19. B, Fig. 19, shows the crotch 

Fig. 17. — Learning to swim by aid of a chump sling. 

Fig. 19. — Details of saw- 
buck supports. 

made by resting L in a fork on the M stick and then nailing or 
binding it in place. C, Fig. 19, shows the two sticks, L and M, 
joined by notches cut log-cabin fashion before they are nailed 
in place. 

Although many summers have rolled around since the author 
first made his advent on this beautiful earth, he still feels the call 
of the bathing pool, the charm of the spring-board, almost as 
keenly as he did when he was wont to swim in Blue Hole at 
Yellow Springs, Ohio, or dive from the log rafts into the Ohio 
River, or slide down the "slippery" made in the steep muddy 
banks of the Licking River, Kentucky. 

Fig. 18. — Another way to rig a chump. 



The Raft is Just the Thing for Camp Life — Pleasurable Occupa- 
tion for a Camping Party Where Wood is Plentiful — You 
Will Need Axes and Hatchets and a Few Other Civihzed 

First we will select two pine logs of equal length, and, while 
the water is heating for our coffee, we will sharpen the butt, or 
larger end, of the logs on one side with the axe, making a ''chisel 
edge," as shown in Fig. 20. This gives us an appetite for break- 
fast and makes the big fish in the lake, as they jump above the 
water, cast anxious looks toward our camp. 

Breakfast finished, we will cut some cross-pieces to join our 
two logs together, and at equal distances apart we will bore holes 
through the cross-pieces for peg-holes (Figs. 21, 22, and 23). 
While one of the party is fashioning a number of pegs, each with 
a groove in one side, like those shown in Fig. 24, the others will 
roll the logs into the water and secure them in a shallow spot. 

Shoes and stockings must be removed, for most of the work 
is now to be done in the water. Of course, it would be much 
easier done on land, but the raft will be very heavy and could 
never be launched unless under the most favorable circumstances. 
It is better to build the craft in the element which is to be its home. 

Cut two long saplings for braces, and after separating the logs 
the proper distance for your cross-pieces to fit, nail your braces 
in position, as represented by Fig. 20. 

This holds the logs steady, and we may now lay the two cross- 
pieces in position, and mark the points on the logs carefully 


Fig. 20. 

Fig. 25. 

Fig. 26. 

^ig. 22. 

Fig. 23. 











1 ' 



Fig. 37 

Fig. 28. 

Parts of Man-Friday sailing-raft. 

P 20.— Logs in place with braces. Figs. 21, 22, and 23.— Struts. Fig. 24.— Pegs. Fig. 25.— 
Raft with middle and stem strut in place. Fig. 26.— Springs for dry deck. Fig. 27.— Drj deck. 
Fig. 28. — Dry deck in place. 

20 Boat- Building and Boating 

where the holes are to be bored to correspond with the ones in 
the cross-pieces. Bore the holes in one log first; make the holes 
deep enough and then fill them with water, after which drive 
the pegs through the ends of the cross-pieces and into the log. 
The grooves in the pegs (Fig. 24) will allow the water to escape 
from the holes and the water will cause the peg to swell and 
tighten its hold on the log and cross-pieces. 

Now bore holes in the other log under those in the cross-pieces 
and fill them with water before driving the pegs home, as you 
did in the first instance. Fig. 25 is a Man-Friday raft. 

The Deck 

Before placing the bow in position we must go ashore and 
make a dry deck. Selecting for the springs two long green ash 
or hickory poles, trim the ends off flat on one side, as shown by 
Fig. 26. This flat side is the bottom, so roll them over, with the 
flat side toward the ground, and if you can find no planks or 
barrel staves for a deck, split in half a number of small logs and 
peg or nail them on the top side of the springs, as in Fig. 27. 

Now all hands must turn out and carry the deck down to the 
raft and place it in position, with the flattened sides of the springs 
resting on top of the logs at the bow. Prop it up in this position, 
and then bore holes through the springs into the logs and peg 
the springs down. Over the flat ends place the heavy bow cross- 
piece, bore the peg-holes, and fasten it in position (Fig. 28). 

In the centre of the bow cross-piece bore several holes close 
together and chip out the wood between to make a hole, as square 
a one as possible, for the mast to fit or " step " in. With the wood 
from a packing-box or a slab from a log make the bench for the 

Bore a hole through the bench a trifle astern of the step, or 
hole, for the mast below. It wifl cause the mast to "rake" a 
little ''aft." You have done a big day's work, but a couple of 
days ought to be sufficient time to finish the craft. 

A Raft that Will Sail 


The Sail 

Turn over the raw edges of the old sail-cloth and stitch them 
down, as in Fig. 29 — that is, if you have the needle and thread 
for the purpose; if not, trim the cloth to the proper form and two 

r\AC£ OR 

Fig. 29.— Sail for Man-Friday. 

inches from the luff (the side next to the mast). Cut a number 
of holes; these should be stitched like button-holes, if possible, 
but if the sail-cloth is tough and we have no needle, we shall have 
to let them go unstitched. A small loop of rope must be sewed 
or fastened in some other manner very securely to each corner of 
the sail. 

22 Boat-Building and Boating 

From spruce pine or an old fishing-pole make a sprit, and of a 
good, straight piece of pine manufacture your mast somewhat 
longer than the luff of the sail (Fig. 29). 

Through the eyelets lace the luff of the sail to the mast, so that 
its lower edge will clear the dry deck by about a foot. 

Fig. 30. — Scudding before the wind. 

Through the hole made for the purpose in the bench (Fig. 30) 
thrust the mast into the step, or socket, that we have cut in the 
bow cross-piece. Tie to the loop at the bottom corner of the sail 
a strong line about twelve feet long for a sheet with which to 
control the sail. 

Trim the upper end of the sprit to fit in the loop at the upper 
outer comer of the sail, and make a notch in the lower end to fit 
in the loop of the line called the "snotter." 

A Raft that Will Sail 


Now, as you can readily see, when the sprit is pushed diagonally 
upward the sail is spread; to hold it in place make a locp of line 
for a "snotter" and attach the loop to the mast, as in Figs. 29 
and 30. Fit the loop in the notch in the lower end of the sprit, 
and the sail is set. 

The Keelig 

We need anchors, one for the bow and one for the stern. It 
takes little time to make them, as you only need a forked stick, 

Fig. 31. Fig. 32. Fig. 33. Fig. 34. 

Fig. 37. 

Fig. 35. 

Fig. 38, 

Fig. 39. 

a stone, and a piece of plank, or, better still, a barrel stave. 
Figs. 35 to 39 show how this is made. Down East the fisher- 
men use the "keelig" in preference to any other anchor. 

Make fast your lines to the ''keelig" thus: Take the end of 
the rope in your right hand and the standing part (which is the 
part leading from the boat) in your left hand and form the loop 
(A, Fig. 31). 

Then with the left hand curve the cable from you, bringing 
the end through the loop, as in B, Fig. 32; then lead it around 
and down, as in C, Fig. ^^. 

24 Boat-Building and Boating 

Draw it tight, as in D, Fig. 34, and you have the good, old- 
fashioned knot, called by sailors the "bow-line." 

To make it look neat and shipshape you may take a piece of 
string and bind the standing part to the shaft of your anchor or 
keelig — keelek — killick — killeck — kelleck — kellock — killock, etc., 
as you may choose to spell it. 

A paddle to steer with and two pegs in the stern cross-piece 
to rest it in complete the craft; and now the big bass had better 
use due caution, because our lines will reach their haunts, and 
we are after them! 



The Advantages of a Canoe — How to Make the Slab Canoe and 
the Dugout — How to Make a Siwash and a White Man's 

There are many small freak crafts invented each year, but 
none of them has any probabilities of being popularly used as 
substitutes for the old models. 

Folding canoes, as a rule, are cranky, but the writer has found 
them most convenient when it was necessary to transport them 
long distances overland. They are not, however, the safest of 
crafts; necessarily they lack the buoyant wooden frame and lining 
of the ordinary canvas canoe, which enables it to float even when 
filled with water. 

The author owes his life to the floating properties of his canvas 
canoe. On one occasion when it upset in a driving easterly 
storm the wind was off shore, and any attempt upon the canoeist's 
part to swim toward shore would have caused himi to have been 
suffocated by the tops of the waves which the wind cut off, driv- 
ing the water with stinging force into his face so constantly that, 
in order to breathe at all, he had to face the other way. He was 
at length rescued by a steamer, losing nothing but the sails and 
his shoes. Nevertheless, the same storm which capsized his 
little craft upset several larger boats and tore the sails from 

The advantages of a good canoe are many for the young navi- 
gators: they can launch their own craft, pick it up when occasion 
demands and carry it overland. It is safe in experienced hands 


26 Boat-Building and Boalcug 

in any weather which is fit for out-door amusement. When you 
are "paddling your own canoe" you are facing to the front and 
can see what is ahead of you, which is much safer and more 
pleasant than travelling backward, like a crawfish. 

The advance-guard of modern civilization is the lumberman, 
and following close on his heels comes the all-devouring saw- 
mill. This fierce creature has an abnormal appetite for logs, 

-Tub. SuaB 

Fig. 40. 

and it keeps an army of men, boys, and horses busy in supplying 
it with food. While it supplies us with lumber for the carpenter, 
builder, and cabinet-maker, it at the same time, in the most 
shameful way, fills the trout streams and rivers with great 
masses of sawdust, which kills and drives away the fish. But 
near the saw-mill there is always to be found material for a 

Slab Canoe 

which consists simply of one of those long slabs, the first cut 
from some giant log (Fig. 43). 

These slabs are burned or thrown away by the mill-owners, 
and hence cost nothing; and as the saw-mill is in advance of 
population, you are most likely to run across one on a hunting 
or fishing trip. 

Near one end, and on the flat side of the slab (Fig. 40), bore 
four holes, into which drive the four legs of a stool made of a sec- 
tion of a smaller slab (Fig. 41), and your boat is ready to launch. 
From a piece of board make a double or single paddle (Fig. 42), 
and you are equipped for a voyage. An old gentleman, who in 
his boyhood days on the frontier frequently used this simple 
style of canoe, says that the speed it makes will compare favor- 

Canoes 27 

ably with that of many a more pretentious vessel. See Fig. 43 
for furnished boat. 

The Dugout 

Although not quite as delicate in model or construction as 
the graceful birch-bark canoe, the "dugout" of the Indians is a 

Fig. 41. 

most wonderful piece of work, when we consider that it is carved 
from the solid trunk of a giant tree with the crudest of tools, and 
is the product of savage labor. 

Few people now living have enjoyed the opportunity of seeing 
one built by the Indians, and, as the author is not numbered 
among that select few, he considers it a privilege to be able to 
quote the following interesting account given by Mr. J. H. Mal- 
lett, of Helena. 

How to Build a Siwash Canoe 

"While visiting one of the small towns along Puget Sound, 
I was greatly interested in the way the Indians built their canoes. 

Fig. 42. 

It is really wonderful how these aborigines can, with the crudest 
means and with a few days' work, convert an unwieldy log into 
a trim and pretty canoe. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

" One Monday morning I saw a buck building a fire at the base 
of a large cedar-tree, and he told me that this was the first step 
in the construction of a canoe that he intended to use upon the 
following Saturday. He kept the fire burning merrily all that 
day and far into the night, when a wind came up and completed 

Fig. 43.— Slab canoe. 

the downfall of the monarch of the forest. The next day the 
man arose betimes, and, borrowing a cross-cut saw from a logger, 
cut the trunk of the tree in twain at a point some fifteen feet 
from where it had broken off, and then with a dull hatchet he 
hacked away until the log had assumed the shape of the desired 
canoe. In this work he was helped by his squaw. The old fel- 
low then built a fire on the upper part of the log, guiding the course 
of the fire with daubs of clay, and in due course of tim.e the in- 
terior of the canoe had been burned out. Half a day's work with 
the hatchet rendered the inside smooth and shapely. 



"The canoe was now, I thought, complete, though it appeared 
to be dangerously narrow of beam. This the Indian soon reme- 
died. He filled the shell two-thirds full of water, and into the 
fluid he dropped half a dozen stones that had been heating in 
the fire for nearly a day. The water at once attained a boil- 
ing point, and so softened the wood that the buck and squaw 
were enabled to draw out the sides and thus supply the neces- 
sary breadth of beam. Thwarts and slats were then placed in 
the canoe and the water and stones thrown out. When the 
steamed wood began to cool and contract, the thwarts held it 

Fig. 44.— The dugout. 

back, and the sides held the thwarts, and there the canoe was 
complete, without a nail, joint, or crevice, for it was made of one 
piece of wood. The Siwash did not complete it as soon as he 
had promised, but it only took him eight days." 

In the North-eastern part of our country, before the advent 
of the canvas canoe, beautiful and light birch-bark craft were 
used by the Indians, the voyagers, trappers, and white woods- 
men. But in the South and in the North-west, the dugout takes 
the place of the birch-bark. Among the North-western Indians 
the dugouts are made from the trunks of immense cedar-trees 
and built with high, ornamental bows, which are brilliantly 
decorated with paint. On the eastern shore of Maryland and 
Virginia the dugout is made into a sail-boat called the buck-eye, 


Boat-Building and Boating 

or bug-eye. But all through the Southern States, from the Ohio 
River to the Gulf of Mexico and in Mexico, the dugout is made 
of a hollowed log after the manner of an ordinary horse trough, 
and often it is as crude as the latter, but it can be made almost 
as beautiful and graceful as a birch-bark canoe. 

How to Make a White Man's Dugout Canoe 

To make one of these dugout canoes one must be big and 
strong enough to wield an axe, but if the readers are too young 

Fig. 50. 

Fig. 45. 

for this work, they are none too young to know how to make 
one, and their big brothers and father can do the work. Since 
the dugout occupies an important position in Ihe history of our 
country, every boy scout should know how it is made. 

Fig. 44 shows one of these canoes afloat; Fig. 45 shows a tall, 
straight tree suitable for our purpose, and it also shows how the 
tree is cut and the arrangement of the kerfs, or two notches, so that 
it will fall in the direction of the arrow in the diagram. You will 
notice along the ground are shown the ends of a number of small 
logs. These are the skids, or rollers, upon which the log wil\ rest 
^hen the tree is cut and felled. The tree will fall in the direction 

Canoes 31 

in which the arrow is pointed if there is no wind. If you have 
\iever cut down a tree, be careful to take some lessons of a good 
woodsman before you attempt it. 

When the log is trimmed off at both ends like Fig. 46, flatten 
the upper side with the axe. This is for the bottom of the canoe; 
the flat part should be about a foot and a half wide to extend 

Fig. 46. 

^>_ _ . . .,CT 


Fig. 47. 

from end to end of the log. Now, with some poles for pryers, 
\urn your log over so that it will rest with the flat bottom on the 
^kids, as in Fig. 46. 

Next take a chalk-line and fasten it at the two ends of the log, 
^s shown by the dotted line in Figs. 46, 47, 48, 49. 

Snap the line so that it will make a straight mark as shown 
by the dotted line; then trim off the two ends for the bow and 
.stem, as shown in Fig. 47. Next cut notches down to the dotted 
line, as illustrated in Fig. 48; then cut away from the bow down 
to the first notch, making a curved line, as shown in Fig. 49 
(which is cut to second notch). Do the same with the stern, 
making duplicates of the bow and stern. The spaces between 
Phe notches amidships may now be split off by striking your axe 
Jilong the chalk-line and then carefully driving in wooden wedges. 
When this is all done you will have Fig. 50. You can now turn the 
Jog over and trim off the edges of the bow and stern so that they 
will slope, as shown in Fig. 44, in a rounded curve; after which 
roll the canoe back again upon its bottom and with an adze and 
*xe hollow out the inside, leaving some solid wood at both bow 

3^ Boat-Building and Boating 

and stern — not that you need the wood for strength, but to save 
labor. When you have decided upon the thickness of the sides 
of your canoe, take some small, pointed instrument, like an awl, 
for instance, and make holes with it to the required depth at in- 
tervals along the sides and bottom of the canoe. Then take some 
small sticks (as long as the canoe sides are to be thick), make them 
to fit the holes, blacken their ends, and drive them into the holes. 
As soon as you see one from the inside, you will know that 
you have made the shell thin enough. Use a jack-plane to smooth 
it off inside and out; then build a big fire and heat some stones. 
Next fill the canoe with water and keep dumping the hot stones 
in the water until the latter is almost or quite to boiling point. 
The hot water will soften the wood so that the sides will become 
flexible, and you can then fit in some braces at the bow, stern, and 
centre of the canoe. Make the centre brace or seat some inches 
wider than the log, so that when it is forced in place it will spread 
the canoe in the middle. 



How to Build a War Canoe — How to Build a Canvas Canoe — 
How to Build an Umbrella Canoe — How Old Shells Can be 
Turned into Boys' Boats — Cause of Upsets — Landing from, 
and Embarking in, a Shell — How to Mend Checks and Cracks 

In making canoes the Indians used birch bark for the cover, 
rock maple for the cross-bars, and white cedar for the rest of the 
frame. We will substitute canvas for the birch bark and any old 
wood that we can for the rock maple and the white cedar. Real 
woodcraft is best displayed in the ability to use the material at 

David Abercrombie, the outfitter, some time ago presented 
Andrew J. Stone, the Arctic explorer and mighty hunter, with a 
small piece of light, water-proof cloth to use as a shelter tent in 
bad weather. But Stone, like the hunter that he was, slept un- 
protected on the mountain side in the sleet and driving storms, 
and used the water-proof cloth to protect the rare specimens he 
had shot. One day a large, rapid torrent lay in his path; there 
was no lumber large enough with which to build a raft, and the 
only wood for miles around was small willow bushes growing 
along the river bank. At his command, his three Indians made 
a canoe frame of willow sticks, tied together with bits of cloth 
and string. Stone set this frame in the middle of his water-proof 
cloth, tied the cloth over the frame with other pieces of string, 
and using only small clubs for paddles, he and his men crossed 
the raging torrent in this makeshift, which was loaded with their 
guns, camera, and specimens that he had shot on the trip. 


34 Boat-Building and Boating 

After reading the above there is no doubt the reader will be 
able to build a war canoe with barrel-hoop ribs and lattice-work 
slats. In the writer's studio is a long piece of maple, one and 
one-half inches wide and one-quarter inch thick, which was left 
by the workmen when they put down a hard-wood floor. If you 
can get some similar strips, either of oak, maple, or birch, from the 
dealers in flooring material, they will not be expensive and will 
make splendid gunwales for your proposed canoe. There should 
be four such strips. The hard-wood used for flooring splits easily, 
and holes should be bored for the nails or screws to prevent crack- 
ing the wood when the nails or screws are driven home. Fig. 51 
shows the framework (side view) of the canoe; Fig. 52 showa 
an end view of the same canoe; Fig. 53 shows the middle section, 
and Fig. 54 shows the form of the bow and stern sections. Thia 
boat may be built any length you wish, and so that you may 
get the proper proportions, the diagrams from one to five are 
marked off in equal divisions. To make patterns of the moulds, 
Figs. 53 and 54, take a large piece of manila paper, divide it up 
into the same number of squares as the diagram, make the squares 
any size you may decide upon, and then trace the line, i-H-io, 
as it is in the diagrams. This will give you the patterns of the 
two moulds (Figs. 53 and 54). While you are looking at these 
figures, it may be well to call your attention to the way bow and 
stern pieces are made. In Fig. 63 the pieces Y and X are made 
from pieces of a packing-box, notched and nailed together with 
a top piece, U, and a brace, V. 

The other end of the same canoe is, as you may see, strength- 
ened and protected by having a barrel-hoop tacked over the 
stem-pieces, Y, X, U. In Fig. 64 we use different material; 
here the stem-piece is made of a broken bicycle rim, U, braced 
by the pieces of packing-box, Y, V, and W. The left-hand end 
of Fig. 64 is made with pieces of head of a barrel, X and U. 
The bottom of the stem-piece Y is made of the piece of a packing, 
box. The two braces V are parts of the barrel-stave. Fig. 60 
shows the common form of the bow of a canoe. The stem-pieces 




t ^ 

\r ! 

r ' 

*-\ ~~^ 

■ ^pi 


. 11 ■ 

vJ ? 

1 - 

\L • 

/ '. 


L - 



^' 3P 


■ ^ 



. t i 


I ^ 




I si 

36 Boat- Building and Boating 

X, Y are made of the parts of the head of a barrel, as shown in 
Fig. 62. To make a stem from a barrel-head, nail the two 
pieces X and Y, Fig. 56, together as shown in this particular 
diagram. Now take another piece of barrel-head, Fig. 57, and 
saw off a piece, A', D', C, so that it will fit neatly over A, C, D, 
on Fig. 56. Nail this securely in place, and then in the same 
manner cut another piece to fit over the part E, C, B, and nail 
that in place. Use small nails, but let them be long enough so 
that you may clinch them by holding an axe or an iron against the 
head while you hammer the protruding points down, or drive the 
nail a little on the bias and holding the axe or iron on the side it is 
to come through and let it strike the nail as it comes out and it 
will clinch itself. To fasten the stem-piece to the keel use two 
pieces of packing-box or board, cut in the form of Fig. 58, and 
nail these securely to the bow-piece as in Z, in Fig. 60. Then 
from the bottom side of the keel H, nail the keel-pieces firmly to 
the keel as in Fig. 61. Also drive some nails from Z to the top 
down to the keel, as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 60. The 
end view, Fig. 59, shows how the two Z pieces hug and support 
the stem-piece on the keel H. Fig. 55 shows a half of the top 
view of the canoe gunwales; the dimensions, marked in feet and 
inches, are taken from an Indian birch-bark canoe. You see 
by the diagram that it is eight feet from the centre of the middle 
cross-piece to the end of the big opening at the bow. It is also 
three feet from the centre of the middle cross-piece to the next 
cross-piece, and thirty inches from the centre of that cross-piece 
to the bow cross-piece, which is just thirty inches from the eight- 
foot mark. The middle cross-piece in a canoe of these dimen- 
sions is seven-eighths of an inch thick, and thirty inches long be- 
tween the gunwales; the next cross-piece is three-quarters of an 
inch thick and twenty-two and one-half inches long. The next 
one is half an inch wide, two inches thick and twelve inches be- 
tween the gunwales. These cross-pieces can be made of the 
staves of a barrel. Of course, this would be a canoe of sixteen 
feet inside measurement, not counting the flattened part of the 

Canoes and Boating Stunts 


bow and stern. Now, then, to build the canoe. First take the 
keel-piece, H, which is in this case a piece of board about six 
inches wide and only thick enough to be moderately stiff. Lay 
the keel on any level surface and put the stem-pieces on as al- 
ready described, using packing-box for X, U, V, Y, and Z, and 

Fig. 60. 

Fig. 62. 

Conventional bow, but made of barrel-heads. 

bracing them with a piece of packing-box on each side, marked 
W in diagram (Fig. 51). Then make three moulds, one for the 
centre (Fig. 53), and two more for the bow and stern (Fig. 54). 
Notch the bottom of these moulds to fit the keel and with wire 
nails make them fast to the keel, leaving the ends of the nails 
protruding far enough to be easily withdrawn when you wish 
to remove the moulds. In nailing the laths to the moulds (Fig. 51) 
leave the heads of the nails also protruding so that they may be 
removed. Place the moulds in position, with the middle one in 
the exact centre, and the two ends located like those in Figs. 6^ 
and 64. Place and nail gunwale, L, on as in Fig. 51, tacking 
it to the bow and stern and bending it around to fit the moulds; 

38 Boat-Building and Boating 

tack the lattice slats M, N, O, P on to the bow, stern, and 
moulds, as shown in Fig. 51. 

If your barrel-hoops are stiff and liable to break while bending 
and unbending, let them soak a couple of days in a tub of water, 
then before fitting them to the form of the canoe make them more 
pliable by pouring hot water on them. The barrel-hoop S, R, 
at the bow of the canoe, is nailed to the top-piece U, to the inside 
of the slats L, M, N, O, P, and to the outside of H. The next 
three ribs on each side are treated in the same manner; repeat 
this at the other end of the canoe and nail the intervening ribs 
to the top of H and to the inside of the slats, following the model 
of the boat. Put the ribs about four inches apart and clinch the 
nails as already described. 

In the diagrams there is no temporary support for the canoe 
frame except the w^ooden horses, as in Fig. 51. These supports 
have been purposely omitted in the drawing, as it is desirable to 
keep it as simple as possible. Some temporary support will be 
necessary to hold the bow and stern-piece in Fig. 51. These 
supports can be nailed or screwed temporarily to the canoe frame 
so as to hold it rigid while you are at work on it. 

After the ribs are all in place and the framework completed, 
turn the canoe upside down upon the wooden horses — for a canoe 
as large as the one in the first diagram you will need three horses, 
one at each end and one in the middle. For a canoe of the dimen- 
sions marked in Fig. 55, that is, sixteen feet inside measurement, 
you would need about seven yards of ten-ounce cotton canvas, 
of sufficient width to reach up over the sides of your canoe. Take 
a tape-measure or a piece of ordinary tape or a long strip of manila 
paper and measure around the bottom of the boat at its widest 
part in the middle from one gunwale (top of side) to the other, and 
see that your cloth is fully as wide as your measurement. Fold 
the canvas lengthwise so as to find its exact centre and crease it. 
With two or three tacks fasten the cloth at its centre line (the 
crease) to the stem-piece of the canoe. Stretch the canvas the 
length of the boat with the crease of centre-line along the centre 

Canoes and Boating Stunts 


of the keelj pull it as taut as may be and again tack the centre 
line to the stem at this end of the craft. If this has been done 
carefully the cloth will hang an equal length over each side of the 
canoe. Now begin amidships and drive tacks about two inches 
apart along the gunwale, say an inch below the top surface. 
After having tacked it for about two feet, go to the other side of 

Fig. 63. 

Fig. 64. 
High bows framework made of packing-box and barrel-heads. 

the boat, pull the cloth taut and in the same manner tack about 
three feet. Continue this process first one side and then the other 
until finished. While stretching the cloth knead it with the hand 
and fingers so as to thicken or ''full" it where it would otherwise 
wrinkle; by doing this carefully it is possible to stretch the can- 
vas over the frame without the necessity of cutting it. The 
cloth that extends beyond the frame may be brought over the 
gunwale and tacked along the inside. Use four-ounce tinned 
or copper tacks. The canvas is now stretched on every part 
except on the high, rolling bow and stern. With a pair of shears 
slit the canvas from the outer edge of the bow and stern within a 
half inch of the ends of the keel. 

Fold the right-hand flap thus made at the left-hand end around 

40 Boat-Buildincj and Boating 

the bow and stern and, drawing tight, tack it down, then fold the 
left-hand flap over the right-hand side and tack it in a similar 
manner, trimming off the remaining cloth neatly. The five 
braces, three of which are shown in Fig. 55, may be nailed to the 
gunwales of the canoe, as the temporary moulds are removed. 
The braces should be so notched that the top ends of the braces 
will fit over the top edge of the gunwale and their lower edges 
will fit against the sides. Give the boat at least three good coats 
of paint and nail the two extra gunwale strips on the outside of 
the canvas for guards. 

When it is dry and the boat is launched you may startle the 
onlookers and make the echoes ring with: 

*'Wo-ach! wo-ach! Ha-ha-ha-hack — wo-ach!" which is saict 
to be the identical war cry with which the Indians greeted the 
landing of our Pilgrim Fathers. 

The reader must not suppose that barrel-hoops are the best- 
material for ribs; they are but a makeshift, and although good- 
looking, servicable canoes have been built of this material from 
the foregoing descriptions, better ones may be made by using 
better material, such, for instance, as is desc ribed in the making 
of the birch-bark canoe. 

Old Shells 

Where there are oarsmen and boat-clubs, there you will find 
beautiful shell boats of paper or cedar, shaped like darning- 
needles, so slight in structure that a child can knock a hole in them, 
and yet very seaworthy boats for those who understand how to 
handle them. The expensive material and skilled labor neces- 
sary to build a racing shell puts the price of one so high that few 
boys can afford to buy one; but where new shells are to be found 
there are also old ones, and when they are too old to sell they are 
thrown away. Many an old shell rots on the meadows near the 
boat-houses or rests among the rafters forgotten and unused, 
which with a little work would make a boat capable of furnish- 
ing no end of fun to a boy. 

Canoes and Boating Stunts 41 

Checks or Cracks 

can be pasted over with common manila wrapping-paper by 
first covering the crack with a coat of paint, or, better still, of 
varnish, then fitting the paper smoothly over the spot and var- 
nishing the paper. Give the paper several coats of varnish, allow- 
ing it to dry after each application, and the paper will become 
impervious to water. The deck of a shell is made of thin muslin 
or paper, treated with a liberal coat of varnish, and can be patched 
with similar material. There are always plenty of slightly dam- 
aged oars which have been discarded by the oarsmen. The use 
of a saw and jack-knife in the hands of a smart boy can trans- 
form these wrecks into serviceable oars for his patched-up old 
shell, and if the work is neatly done, the boy will be the proud 
owner of a real shell boat, and the envy of his comrades. 

The Cause of Upsets 

A single shell that is very cranky with a man in it is compara- 
tively steady when a small boy occupies the seat. Put on your 
bathing clothes when you wish to try a shell, so that you may be 
ready for the inevitable upset. Every one knows, when he looks 
at one of these long, narrow boats, that as long as the oars are 
held extended on the water it cannot upset. But, in spite of that 
knowledge, every one, when he first gets into a shell, endeavors 
to balance himself by lifting the oars, and, of course, goes over in 
a jifTy. 

The Delights of a Shell 

It is an error to suppose that the frail-looking, needle-like 
boat is only fit for racing purposes. For a day on the water, in 
calm weather, there is, perhaps, nothing more enjoyable than a 
single shell. The exertion required to send it on its way is so 
slight, and the speed so great, that many miles can be covered 
with small fatigue. Upon referring to the log-book of the Nereus 
Club, where the distances are all taken from the United States 

42 Boat-Building and Boating 

chart, the author finds that twenty and thirty miles are not un- 
common records for single-shell rows. 

During the fifteen or sixteen seasons that the author has de- 
voted his spare time to the sport he has often planned a heavy 
cruising shell, but owing to the expense of having such a boat 
built he has used the ordinary racing boat, and found it remark- 
ably well adapted for such purposes. Often he has been caught 
miles away from home in a blow, and only once does he remem- 
ber of being compelled to seek assistance. 

He was on a lee shore and the waves were so high that after 
once being swamped he was unable to launch his boat again, 
for it would fill before he could embark. So a heavy rowboat 
and a coachman were borrowed from a gentleman living on the 
bay, and while the author rowed, the coachman towed the little 
craft back to the creek where the Nereus club-house is situated. 

In the creek, however, the water was calmer, and rather than 
stand the jeers of his comrades, the writer embarked in his shell 
and rowed up to the boat-house float. He was very wet and his 
boat was full of water, but to the inquiry of "Rough out in the 
bay?" he confined himself to the simple answer — "Yes." Then 
dumping the water from his shell and placing it upon the rack 
he put on his dry clothes and walked home, none the worse for 
the accident. 

After ordinary skill and confidence are acquired it is really 
astonishing what feats can be accomplished in a frail racing boat. 

It is not difficult to 

Stand Upright In a Shell 

if you first take one of your long stockings and tie the handles 
of your oars together where they cross each other in front of you. 
The ends will work slightly and the blades will keep their positions 
on the water, acting as two long balances. Now slide your seat 
as far forward as it will go, slip your feet from the straps and grasp 
the staps with your hand, moving the feet back to a comfortable 
position. When all ready raise yourself by pulling on the foot 

I .^ 
H^ II 

II Iu4 

jv,v> i^fi (^ Nl 







rt -2 -5 -e -5 -2 

p: Pi Pi Pi Pi (4 


< P5 U Q W fe 

44 Boat-Building and Boating 

strap, and with ordinary care you can stand upright in the needle- 
shaped boat, an apparently impossible thing to do when you look 
at the narrow craft. 

How to Land Where There Is No Float 

When for any reason you wish to land where there is no float, 
row into shallow water and put one foot overboard until it touches 
bottom. Then follow with the other foot, rise, and you are stand- 
ing astride of your boat. 

How to Embark Where There Is No Float 

Wade out and slide the shell between your extended legs un- 
til the seat is underneath you. Sit down, and, with the feet still 
in the water, grasp your oars. With these in your hands it is 
an easy task to balance the boat until you can lift your feet into it. 

Ozias Dodge's Umbrella Canoe 

Mr. Dodge is a Yale man, an artist, and an enthusiastic canoe- 
ist. The prow of his litde craft has ploughed its way through the 
waters of many picturesque streams in this country and Europe, 
by the river-side, under the walls of ruined casdes, where the 
iron-clad warriors once built their camp-fires, and near prettj- 
villages, where people dress as if they were at a fancy-dress ball,. 

When a young man like Mr. Dodge says that he has built a 
folding canoe that is not hard to construct, is inexpensive and 
practical, there can be litde doubt that such a boat is not only 
what is claimed for it by its inventor, but that it is a novelty in its 
line, and such is undoubtedly the case with the umbrella canoe. 

How the Canoe Was Built 

The artist first secured a white-ash plank (A, Fig. 65), free 
from knots and blemishes of all kinds. The plank was one inch 
thick and about twelve feet long. At the mill he had this sawed 
into eight strips one inch wide, one inch thick, and twelve feet 
long (B and C, Figs. 66 and 67). Then he planed off the square 

Canoes and Boating Stunts 


edges of each stick until they were all octagonal in form, and 
looked like so many great lead-pencils (D, Fig. 68). 

Mr. Dodge claims that, after you have reduced the ash poles 
to this octagonal form, it is an easy matter to whittle them with 

Fig. 76. — Frame of umbrella canoe. 

your pocket-knife or a draw-knife, and by taking off all the angles 
of the sticks make them cylindrical in form (E, Fig. 69); then 
smooth them off nicely with sand-paper, so that each pole has a 
smooth surface and is three-quarters of an inch in diameter. 

After the poles were reduced to this state he whittled all the 
ends to the form of a truncated cone — that is, like a sharpened 
lead-pencil with the lead broken off (F, Fig. 70) — a blunt point. 
He next went to a tinsmith and had two sheet-iron cups made 
large enough to cover the eight pole-ends (G and G', Figs. 71 
and 72). Each cup was six inches deep. After trying the cups, 
or thimbles, on the poles to see that they would fit, he made two 
moulds of oak. First he cut two pieces of oak plank two feet six 

Fig. 77. — Umbrella canoe. 

inches long by one foot six inches (H, Fig. 74), which he trimmed 
into the form shown by J, Fig. 75, making a notch to fit each of 
the round ribs, and to spread them as the ribs of an umbrella are 
spread. He made two other similar moulds for the bow and 


Boat-Building and Boating 

stern, each of which, of course, is smaller than the middle one. 
After spreading the ribs with the moulds, and bringing the ends 
together in the tin cups, he made holes in the bottom of the cups 
where the ends of the ribs came, and fastened the ribs to the cups 
with brass screws, fitted with leather washers, and run through 
the holes in the tin and screwed into the ends of the poles or ribs. 

Fig. 78. — Canoe folded for transportation. Canoe in water in distance. 

A square hole was then cut through each mould (K, Fig. 75), 
and the poles put in place, gathered together at the ends, and held 
in place by the tin thimbles. The square holes in the moulds 
allow several small, light floor planks to form a dry floor to the 

The canvas costs about forty-five cents a yard, and five yards 
are all you need. The deck can be made of drilling, which comes 
about twenty-eight inches wide and costs about twenty cents a 
yard. Five yards of this will be plenty. Fit your canvas over 
the frame, stretch it tightly, and tack it securely to the two top 
ribs only. Fasten the deck on in the same manner. 

When Mr. Dodge had the canoe covered and decked, with a 
square hole amidship to sit in, he put two good coats of paint on 
the canvas, allowed it to dry, and his boat was ready for us»i 
(Fig. 77). He quaintly says that "it looked like a starved dog, 
with all its ribs showing through the skin," just as the ribs of aic 
umbrella show on top through the silk covering. But this does 

Canoes and Boating Stunts 47 

not in any way impede the progress of the boat through the 

Where the moulds are the case is different, for the Hnes of the 
moulds cross the line of progress at right angles and must neces- 
sarily somewhat retard the boat. But even this is not perceptible. 
The worst feature about the moulds is that the canvas is very apt 
to be damaged there by contact with the shore, float, or whatever 
object it rubs against. 

With ordinary care the umbrella canoe 

Will Last for Years 

and is a good boat for paddhng on inland streams and small 
bodies of water; and when you are through with it for the night, 
all that is necessary is to remove the stretchers by springing the 
poles from the notches in the spreaders, roll up the canvas around 
the poles, put it on your shoulder, and carry it home or to camp, 
^s shown in Fig. 78. 

To put your canoe together again put in the moulds, fit the 
poles in their places, and the umbrella is raised, or, rather, the 
canoe is, if we can use such an expression in regard to a boat. 



How to Build a Real Birch-Bark Canoe or a Canvas Canoe on 
a "Birch-Bark" Frame— How to Mend a Birch-Bark 

Although the Indian was the first to build these simple little 
boats, some of his white brothers are quite as expert in the work. 
But the red man can outdo his white brother in navigating the 
craft. The only tools required in building a canoe are a knife 
and awl, a draw-shave and a hammer. An Indian can do all of 
his work with a knife. 

Several years ago canvas began to be used extensively in canoe- 
building, instead of birch bark, and it will eventually entirely 
supersede birch, although nothing can be found that bends so 
gracefully. There are several canvas-canoe factories in Maine, 
and the canoes made of canvas have both the symmetry and the 
durability of the birches. They are also a trifle cheaper, but if 
the real thing and sentiment are wanted, one should never have 
anything but a bark craft. 

If properly handled, a good canoe will safely hold four men. 
Canoes intended for deep water should have considerable depth. 
Those intended for shoal water, such as trout-fishers use, are made 
as flat as possible. Up to the time when canoeing was introduced 
the materials for building craft of this kind could be found all 
along the rivers. Big birch-trees grew in countless numbers, and 
clear, straight cedar was quite as plentiful within a few feet of the 
water's edge. Now one must go miles back into the dense forests 
for such materials, and even then seldom does it happen that two 
suitable trees are found within sight of one or the other. Cedar 
is more difficult of the two to find. 


The Birch-Bark 49 

The Tree 

The tree is selected, first, for straightness; second, smoothness; 
third, freedom from knots or limbs; fourth, toughness of bark; 
fifth, small size of eyes; sixth, length (the last is not so important, 
as two trees can be put together), and, seventh, size (which is 
also not so important, as the sides can be pieced out). 


The average length of canoe is about 19 feet over all, running, 
generally, from 18 to 22 feet for a boat to be used on inland waters, 
the sea-going canoes being larger, with relatively higher bows. 
The average width is about 30 inches inside, measured along the 
middle cross-bar; the greatest width inside is several inches below 
the middle cross-bar, and is several inches greater than the width 
measured along said cross-bar. 

The measurements given below are those of a canoe 19 feet 
over all: 16 feet long inside, measured along the curve of the gun- 
wale; 30 inches wide inside. The actual length inside is less 
than 16 feet, but the measurement along the gunwales is the most 


Bark can be peeled when the sap is flowing or when the tree 
is not frozen — at any time in late spring, summer, and early fall 
(called summer bark); in winter during a thaw, when the tree 
is not frozen, and when the sap may have begun to flow. 

Difference in the Bark 

Summer bark peels readily, is smooth inside, of a yellow color, 
which turns reddish upon exposure to the sun, and is chalky- 
gray in very old canoes. Winter bark adheres closely, and forci- 
bly brings up part of the inner bark, which on exposure turns 
dark red. This rough surface may be moistened and scraped 
away. All winter-bark canoes must be thus scraped and made 


Boat-Building and Boating 

smooth. Sometimes the dark red is left in the form of a decora- 
tive pattern extending around the upper edge of the canoe, the 
rest of the surface being scraped smooth. 

Process of Peeling 

, The tree should be cut down so that the bark can be removed 
more easily. 

A log called a skid (Fig. 79) is laid on the ground a few feet 
from the base of the tree, which will keep the butt of the tree 
off the ground when the tree is felled. The limbs at the top will 


Fig, 79. — Showing how the butt is kept off the ground. 

Fig. 80. 

Fig. 81. 

keep the other end off the ground. A space is cleared of bushes 
and obstructions where the tree is to fall. 

After the tree has been cut down, a cut is made in a straight 
line (A, B, Fig. 79), splitting the bark from top to bottom, and 
a ring cut at A and B (Fig. 79). When sap is flowing, the bark 
is readily removed; but in winter the edges of the cut are raised 
with a knife, and a thin, pliant hard-wood knife or "spud" is 
pushed around under the bark. 


After the bark has dropped upon the ground the inside sur- 
face is warmed with a torch, which softens and straightens it out 

The Birch-Bark 


flat. The torch is made of a bundle of birch bark held in a 
split stick (Fig. 8i). 

It is then rolled up like a carpet, with inside surface out, and 
tightly bound, generally with cedar bark when the latter can be 
procured (Fig. 80). 

If the tree is long enough, a piece is taken off at least nineteen 
feet in length, so that the ends of the canoe may not be pieced 
out. A few shorter pieces are 
wrapped up with the bundle 
for piecing out the sides. 

The Roll 

is taken on the back in an 
upright position, and is carried 
by a broad band of cedar 
bark, passing under the lower 
end of the roll and around in 
front of the breast and shoul- 
ders (Fig. 82). 

Effects of Heat 

It is laid where the sun will Fig. 82— Mode of carrying roll. 

not shine on it and harden it. 

The first effect of heat is to make it pliant. Long exposure to 

heat or to dry atmosphere makes it hard and brittle. 

The Woodwork 

is as follows: 

Five cross-bars of rock-maple (Figs. S^, 85, and 91). All the 
rest is of white cedar, taken from the heart. The sap-wood 
absorbs water, and would make the canoe too heavy, so it is re- 
jected. The wood requires to be straight and clear, and it is 
best to use perfectly green wood for the ribs. 

Two strips 16 J feet long, i J inch square, tapering toward either 


Boat-Building and Boating 

end, the ends being notched (Fig. 8t^ A) is a section of the i6J 
foot strip. Each strip is mortised for the cross-bars (see Fig. 85). 
The lower outside edge is bevelled off to receive the ends of the 

The dimensions of the cross-bars (Fig. 85) are 12 x 2 x J inch, 
22J X 2 X f inch, and 30 x 2 x | inch. The cross-bars are placed 
in position, and the ends of the gunwales are tied with spruce 

Figs. 83 and 834. — Showing section of canoe amidship and section and shape of gunwale and top view. 

roots after being nailed together to prevent splitting. Each 
bar is held in place by a peg of hard wood. 

For stitching and wrapping, long, slender roots of spruce, or 
sometimes of elm, are peeled and split in two. Black ash splits 
are rarely used except for repairing (Figs. 86, 87, 88). 

Next we need (B, Fig. 8t,) two strips i or i J inch by J inch, a 
little over 19 feet long, to go outside of gunwales, and (C, Fig. 
S^) two top strips, same length, 2 inches wide in middle, tapering 
to I inch at either end, i J inch thick. 


About fifty in number (Figs. 91, 92) are split with the grain 
(F, Fig. 92), so that the heart side of the wood will be on the inner 
side when the rib is bent. The wood bends better this way. 
They must be perfectly straight-grained and free from knots. 

The Birch-Bark 


Ribs for the middle are four inches wide, ribs for the ends about 
three inches wide (Fig. 91 and G, Fig. 92), and are whittled down 
to a scant half an inch (Fig. 93). Green wood is generally used, 
and before it has had any time to season. The ribs may be soft- 

Fig. 86. 

Fxg. 89. 

Fig. 90. 

Fig. 91. 


,1 Left HA /vo 

Fig. 85. 
Details of sticking and framework of canoe. 



Boat-Building and Boating 

ened by pouring hot water on them, and should be bent in pairs 
to prevent breaking (Fig. 90). They are held in shape by a band 
of cedar bark passed around outside. 

The ribs are of importance in the shaping of the canoe. The 

sides bulge out (Figs. 91, 92). 

The shape of the ribs determines 

the depth and stability of the 
^;!^ Fig. 92. ^ ^ 

<^>' canoe. 

Lining Strips 

Other strips, an eighth of an 
inch thick, are carefully whittied 
out, with straight edges. They 
are a little over eight feet long, 
and are designed to be laid in- 
side on the bark, edge to edge, 
between the bark and the ribs. 
These strips lap an inch or two 
where they meet, in the middle 
of the canoe, and are wider here 
than at the ends, owing to the 
greater circumference of the ca- 
noe in the middle. 


All the timber is carefully tied 
up before building and laid 
away. The ribs are allowed to 
will keep their shape and not 

Details of ribs, Indian knives and method of 
using them. 

season perfectly, so that they 
spring back. 

The Bed 

Next the bed is prepared on a level spot, if possible shaded 
from the sun. A space is levelled about three and a half feet 
wide and a litde longer than the canoe. The surface is made 

The Birch-Bark 


perfectly smooth. The middle is one or two inches higher than 
either end. 


The frame is laid exactly in the middle of the bed. A small 
post is driven in the ground (Fig. 94), on which each end of the 
frame will rest. Stakes, two or three feet long and about two 

Fig. 94. — Showing stakes supporting bark sides; note stones on the bottom. 

inches in diameter, are whittled flat on one side, and are driven 
with the flat side toward the frame at the following points, leav- 
ing a space of about a quarter of an inch between the stake and 
the frame (Fig. 94) : One stake an inch or two on either side of 
each cross-bar, and another stake half way between each cross- 
bar. This makes eleven stakes on each side of the frame. 
Twelve additional stakes are driven as follows: One pair facing 
each other, at the end of the frame; another pair, an inch apart, 
about six inches from the last pair, measuring toward the ends 
of the canoe; and another pair, an inch apart, a foot from these. 
These last stakes will be nine and a half feet from the middle of 
the frame, and nineteen feet from the corresponding stakes at 
the other end. Next, these stakes are all taken up, and the 
frame laid aside. 

To Soften the Bark 

Next the bark is unrolled. If it has laid until it has become 
a little hardened, i' is placed in the river or stream for a day or 

5Q Boat-Buildiyig and Boating 

two. It is spread out flat, and laid upon the bed with the gray 
or outside surface up. The inside surface is placed downward, 
and becomes the outside of the canoe. 

The frame is replaced upon the bark, so that it will be at the 
same distance from each side and end of the bed that it was be- 
fore. At each cross-bar boards are laid across the frame, and 
heavy stones are laid upon them to keep the frame solid and im- 
movable upon the bark (Fig. 85, C). The edges of the bark are 
next bent up in a perpendicular position, and in order that it 
may bend smoothly slits are made in the bark in an outward direc- 
tion, at right angles to the frame. A cut is made close to the 
end of each cross-bar, and one half way between each bar, 
which is generally sufficient to allow the bark to be bent up 
smoothly. As the bark is bent up, the large stakes are slipped 
back in the holes which they occupied before, and the tops of 
each opposite pair are connected with a strip of cedar bark which 
keeps the stakes perfectly perpendicular. At each end it is 
necessary to take out a small triangular piece or gore, so that the 
edges may come together without overlapping. 

Next twenty-two pieces of cedar, one to two feet long, and 
about i or J inch thick, are split out, and whittled thin and flat 
at one end. This sharpened edge is inserted between the out- 
side edge of the frame and the bent-up bark, opposite each large 
stake. The other end of the chisel-shaped piece is tightly tied 
to the large stake outside. By means of the large outside stake 
and the inside ^^ stake, ^^ so-called, the bark is held in a perfectly 
upright position; and in order to keep the bent-up part more 
perfectly flat and smooth, the strips of cedar are pushed in length- 
wise between the stakes and the bark, on each side of the bark, 
as shown in sectional views (Fig. 85, C, D). 

Sometimes, in place of having temporary strips to go on out- 
side of the bark, the long outside strip (B, Fig. d>2,), is slipped 
in place instead. 

It may now be seen if the bark is not wide enough. If it is 
not, the sides must be pieced out with a narrow piece, cut in such 

The Birch-Bark 57 

a way that the eyes in the bark will run in the same direction as 
those of the large piece. 

As a general rule, from the middle to the next bar the strip 
for piecing is placed on the inside of the large piece, whose upper 
edge has previously been trimmed straight, and the two are sewed 
together by the stitch shown in Fig. 86, the spruce root being 
passed over another root laid along the trimmed-off edge of the 
large piece of bark to prevent the stitches from tearing out. 
From the second bar to the end of the canoe, or as far as may be 
necessary, the strip is placed outside the large piece, and from the 
second to the end bar is sewed as in Fig. 87, and from the end 
bar to the end of the canoe is stitched as in Fig. 8S. 

Next, the weights are taken off the frame, which is raised up as 
follows, the bark remaining flat on the bed as before: 

A post eight inches long is set up under each end of middle 
cross-bar (Fig. 85, D), one end resting on the bark and the other 
end supporting either end of the middle cross-bar. Another 
post, nine inches long, is similarly placed under each end of the 
next cross-bar. Another, twelve inches long, is placed under 
each end of the end cross-bar; and another, sixteen and a half or 
seventeen inches, supports each end of the frame. 

As the posts are placed under each cross-bar, the weights are 
replaced; and as these posts are higher at the ends than in the 
middle, the proper curve is obtained for the gunwales. The 
temporary strips, that have been placed outside the bent-up 
portion of the bark, are removed, and the long outside strip be- 
fore mentioned (B, Fig. 8;^) is slipped in place between the out- 
side stakes and the bark. This strip is next nailed to the frame 
with wrought-iron nails that pass through the bark and are 
clinched on the inside. This outside strip has taken exactly the 
curve of the frame, but its upper edge, before nailing, was raised 
so as to be out an eighth of an inch (or the thickness of the bark) 
higher than the top surface of the frame, so that when the edges 
of the bark have been bent down, and tacked flat to the frame, 
a level surface will be presented, upon which the wide top strip 

58 Boat-Building and Boating 

will eventually be nailed. Formerly the outer strip was bound to 
the frame with roots every few inches, but now it is nailed. 

The cross-bars are now lashed to the frame, having previously 
been held only by a peg. The roots are passed through holes 
in the end of the bars, around the outside strip (see right-hand side 
of Fig. 85). A two-inch piece of the bark, which has been tacked 

Fig. 95. — Shows how to describe arc of circle for bow, also ornamentation of winter bark. 

down upon the frame, is removed at the ends by the cross-bars, 
where the spruce roots are to pass around, and the outside strip 
is cut away to a corresponding extent, so that the roots, when 
wrapped around, will be flush with the surface above. 

All the stakes are now removed, and laid away to be ready 
for the next canoe that may be built, and the canoe taken upside 
down upon two horses or benches, that will keep the craft clear 
of the ground. 

The shape of the bow is now marked out, either by the eye or 
with mechancial aid, according to the following rule : An arc of 
a circle, with a radius of seventeen inches, is described (Fig. 95) 
having as a centre a point shown in diagram. The bark is then 
cut away to this line. 


To stiffen the bow, a bow-piece of cedar, nearly three feet long 
(Fig. 96), an inch and a half wide, and half an inch thick on one 
edge, bevelled and rounded off toward the other edge, is needed. 
To facilitate bending edgeways it is split into four or five sections 
(as in Fig. 98) for about thirty inches. The end that remains 
unsplit is notched on its thicker edge (Fig. 96) to receive the lower 
end of an oval cedar board (Fig. 97) that is placed upright in the 

The Birch-Bark 


Fig. 96. 

Fig. 99. 

bow underneath the tip of the frame. It is bent to correspond 
with the curve of the boat, with the thin edge toward the outside 
of the circle, and wrapped with twine, so that it will keep its shape. 
The bow-piece is placed between the edges of the bark, which are 
then sewed together by an 
over-and-over stitch, which ^^s- 97. 
passes through the bow- 

A pitch is prepared of 
rosin and grease, in such 
proportions that it will 
neither readily crack in 
cold water nor melt in the 
sun. One or the other in- 
gredient is added until by 
test it is found just right. 



Fig. 98. Fig. 100. 

Figs. 97-100. — Show details of canoe bow. 

Patching and Pitching 

The canoe is now placed 
on the ground, right side up, 
and all holes are covered 
on the inside with thin 

birch bark that is pasted down with hot pitch. A strip of cloth 
is saturated with hot pitch, and pressed into the cracks on either 
side of the bow-piece inside, between the bark and the bow-piece 

(Fig. 99)- 

The thin longitudinal strips are next laid in position, edge to 
edge, lapping several inches by the middle; they are whittled 
thin here so as to lap evenly. 

The ribs are next tightly driven in place, commencing at the 
small end ones and working toward the middle. The end ribs 
may be two or three inches apart, being closer toward the middle, 
where, in many cases, they touch. Usually, they are about half 
an inch apart in the middle. Each rib is driven into place with 
a square-ended stick and a mallet. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. lOOJ. 

The ends are stuffed with shavings (Fig. loo and "Section" 
Fig. ioo|), and an oval cedar board is put in the place formerly 
occupied by the post that supported the end of the frame. The 
lower end rests in the notch of the bow-piece, while the upper is 
cut with two shoulders that fit underneath each side of the frame; 
Fig. 97 shows the cedar board. 

The top strip is next nailed on to the frame. Almost always a 
piece of bark, a foot or more long, and nine or ten inches wide, 

is bent and slipped under, be- 
tween both top and side strips 
and the bark. The ends of this 
piece hang down about three 
inches below the side strips. 
The loose ends of the strips are 
bound together, as in diagram, 
and the projecting tips of both 
strips and bow-piece are trimmed 
off close. 

Next the canoe is turned up- 
side down. If winter bark has 
been used, the surface is moist- 
ened and the roughness scraped 
off with a knife. Generally the 
the form of a decorative pattern 
the upper edge (Fig. 95). Some- 

Fig. 101. 

Canoe paddles. 

red rough surface is left in 
several inches wide around 
times the maker's name and date are left in this way. 

Finally, a strip of stout canvas, three or four inches wide, is 
dipped in the melted pitch and laid on the stitching at the ends, 
extending up sufficiently far above the water-line. All cracks and 
seams are covered with pitch, laid on with a small wooden pad- 
dle. While still soft, a wet finger or the palm of the hand is 
rubbed over the pitch to smooth it down before it hardens. 

The Birch-Bark 



Water is placed inside, and the leaky places marked, to be 
stopped when dry. A can of rosin is usually carried in the canoe, 
and when a leak occurs, the canoe is taken out of the water, the 


Fig. lOli. — From photograph of Indian building a birch-bark canoe. 

leak discovered by sucking, the place dried with a torch of wood 
or birch bark, and the pitch applied. 

Paddles are made of rock maple, and sometimes of birch and 
even cedar. Bow paddles are usually longer and narrower in 
the blade than stern paddles (Fig. loi). 

Bottom Protection 

Sometimes the canoe is shod with "shoes," or strips of cedar, 
laid lengthwise and tied to the outside of the bark with ash splits 
that pass through holes in the cedar shoes, and are brought up 
around the sides of the canoe and tied to each cross-bar. This 
protects the bottom of the boat from the sharp rocks that abound 
in some rapid streams. 

All canoes are of the general shape of the one described, 
though this is considerably varied in different localities, some 

62 Boat-Building and Boating 

being built with high rolling bows, some slender, some wider, 
some nearly straight on the bottom, others decidedly curved. 

Besides the two paddles the canoe should carry a pole ten feet 
long, made of a slender spruce, whittled so as to be about one 
and three-fourths inch in diameter in the middle and smaller 
at either end, and having at one end either a ring and a spike or 
else a pointed cap of iron. The pole is used for propeUing the 
canoe up swift streams. This, says Tappan Adney, "is abso- 
lutely indispensable." The person using the pole stands in one 
end, or nearer the middle if alone, and pushes the canoe along 
close to the bank, so as to take advantage of the eddies, guiding 
the canoe with one motion, only to be learned by practice, and 
keeping the pole usually on the side next the bank. Where the 
streams have rocky and pebbly bottoms poling is easy, but in 
muddy or soft bottoms it is tiresome work; muddy bottoms, how- 
ever, are not usually found in rapid waters. 

A Canvas Canoe 

can be made by substituting canvas in the place of birch bark; 
and if it is kept well painted it makes not only a durable but a 
very beautiful boat. The writer once owned a canvas canoe 
that was at least fifteen years old and still in good condition. 

About six yards of ten-ounce cotton canvas, fifty inches wide, 
will be sufficient to cover a canoe, and it will require two papers 
of four-ounce copper tacks to secure the canvas on the frame. 

The boat should be placed, deck down, upon two "horses" or 
wooden supports, such as you see carpenters and builders use. 

Fold the canvas lengthwise, so as to find the centre, then tack 
the centre of one end of the cloth to top of bow-piece, or stem, 
using two or three tacks to hold it securely. Stretch the cloth 
the length of the boat, pull it taut, with the centre line of the can- 
vas over the keel line of the canoe, and tack the centre of the other 
end of the cloth to the top of the stern-piece. 

If care has been taken thus far, an equal portion of the cover- 
ing will lap the gunwale on each side of the boat. 

The Birch-Bark 63 

Begin amidships and drive the tacks, about two inches apart, 
along the gunwale and an inch below the deck (on the outside). 
Tack about two feet on one side, pull the cloth tightly across, 
and tack it about three feet on the other side. Continue to alter- 
nate, tacking on one side and then the other, until finished. 

With the hands and fingers knead the cloth so as to thicken 
or "full" it where it would otherwise wrinkle, and it will be pos- 
sible to stretch the canvas without cutting it over the frame. 

The cloth that projects beyond the gunwale may be used for 
the deck, or it may be cut off after bringing it over and tacking 
upon the inside of the gunwale, leaving the canoe open like a 

To Paddle a Canoe 

No one can expect to learn to paddle a canoe from a book, how- 
ever explicit the directions may be. There is only one way to 
learn to swim and that is by going into the water and trying it, 
and the only proper way to learn to paddle a canoe is to paddle 
one until you catch the knack. 

In the ordinary canoe, to be found at the summer watering 
places, there are cane seats and they are always too high for safety. 
A top load on any sort of a boat is always dangerous, and every 
real canoeist seats his passengers on the bottom of the boat and 
kneels on the bottom himself while paddling. Of course, one^s 
knees will feel more comfortable if there is some sort of a cushion 
under them, and a passenger will be less liable to get wet if he 
has a pneumatic cushion on which to sit. No expert canoeist 
paddles alternately first on the one side, and then on the other; 
on the contrary, he takes pride in his ability to keep his paddle 
continuously on either side that suits his convenience. 

The Indians of the North Woods are probably the best paddlers, 
and from them we can take points in the art. It is from them 
we first learned the use of the canoe, for our open canvas canoes 
of to-day are practically modelled on the lines of the old birch- 

From photographs taken 
especially for this book by 
Mr. F. K. Vreeland, Camp 
Fire Club of America. 

Fig. 102. 

Fig. 102a. 

Fig. 102. — Beginning of stroke. Paddle should not be reached farther forward than this. It is im- 
mersed edgewise (not point first) with a slicing motion. Note the angle of paddle — rear face of blade 
turned outward to avoid tendency of canoe to turn. Staff of paddle is 6 inches too short. Left hand 
should be lower. 

Fig. 102a. — A moment later. Right hand pushing forward, left hand swinging down. Left hand 
•hould be lower on full-sized paddle. 

Fig. 103. Fig. 103a. 

Fig. 103. — Putting the power of the body in the stroke by bending slightly forward. Left hand held 
stationary from now on, to act as fulcrum. The power comes from the right arm and shoulders. 

Fig. 103a. — The final efifort, full weight of the body on the paddle. The right arm and body are 
doing the work, the left arm (which is weak at this point) acting as fulcrum. Note twist of the right 
wrist to give blade the proper angle. 

Fig. 104. Fig. 104a. 

Fig. 104. — End of stroke. Arms relaxed and body straightening. 

Fig. 104a. — Beginning of recovery. Paddle slides out of water gently. Note that blade is perfectly 
flat on the surface. No steering action is required. If the canoe tends to swerve it is because the stroke 
was not correct. Only a duffer steers with his paddle after the stroke is over. The left hand now 
moves lor-^^rd, the right swinging out and back, moving paddle forward horizontally. 

Fig. 1046. Fig. 104c, 

Fig. 1046 — Turning to right. The latter part of a broad sweep outward, away from the canoe. The 
blade is now being swept toward the canoe, the left hand pulling in, the right pushing out. Position of 
right wrist shows that blade has the opposite slant to that shovra in the straightaway stroke — i. c, the 
near face of blade is turned inward. Blade leaves water with outer edge up. Wake of canoe shows 
sharpness of turn. 

Fig. 104c. — Turning to left. The last motion of a stroke in which the paddle is swept dose to the 
canoe with the blade turned much farther outward than in the straightaway stroke. At end of stroke 
blade is given an outward sweep, and leaves the water with the inner edge up. This is not a steering or 
dragging motion. It is a powerful sweep of the paddle. Note swirl in wake of canoe showing sharp turn 


Tlie Birch-Bark 65 

When you are standing upright and your paddle is in front of 
you with the blade upon the ground, the handle should reach to 
your eye-brows. (See Figs. loi, 102, 103, etc.) 

Kneel with the paddle across the canoe and not farther forward 
than the knees. Then dip the blade edgewise (not point first) by 
raising the upper hand without bending the elbow. Swing the 
paddle back, keeping it close to the canoe, and give a little twist 
to the upper wrist to set the paddle at the proper angle shown in 
the photos. The exact angle depends upon the trim of the boat, 
the wind, etc., and must be such that the canoe does not swerve 
at any part of the stroke, but travels straight ahead. The lower 
arm acts mainly as a fulcrum and does not move back and forth 
more than a foot. The power comes from the upper arm and 
shoulder, and the body bends forward as the weight is thrown on 
the paddle. The stroke continues until the paddle slides out of 
the water endwise, flat on the surface. Then for recovery the 
blade is brought forward by a swing from the shoulder, not lifting it 
vertically, but swinging it horizontally with the blade parallel to 
the water and the upper hand low. When it reaches a point 
opposite the knee it is slid into the water again, edgewise, for an- 
other stroke. The motion is a more or less rotary one, like stirring 
cake, not a simple movement back and forth. 

To Carry a Canoe 

To pick up a canoe and carry it requires not only the knack but 
also muscle, and no undeveloped boy should make the attempt, 
as he might strain himself, with serious results. But there are 
plenty of young men — good, husky fellows — who can learn to do 
this without any danger of injury if they are taught how to Hft 
by a competent physical instructor. 

To pick up a canoe for a "carry," stoop over and grasp the 
middle brace with the right arm extended, and a short hold with 
the left hand, as shown in Fig. 105. 


Boat- Building and Boating 

When you have a secure hold, hoist the canoe up on your legs, 
as shown in Fig. io6. Without stopping the motion give her 
another boost, until you have the canoe with the upper side above 
your head, as in Fig. 107. In the diagram the paddles are not 

Fig. 106. 

Fig. 105. 

Fig. 107. 

r li^s^'^^ 

on &Kou.Xdje.T> 
Over h&£M3C». 

Fig. 108. 

Fig. 109. 

spread apart as far as they should be. If the paddles are too 
close together a fall may break ones neck. 

Now turn the canoe over your head and slide your head be- 
tween the paddles (which are lashed to the spreaders, as shown in 
Fig. 105), and twist your body around as you let the canoe 
settle down over your head (Fig. 108). If you have a sweater or a 
coat, it will help your shoulders by making a roll of it to serve as 
a pad under the paddles, as in Fig. 109. I have seen an Indian 

The Birch-Bark 67 

carry a canoe in this manner on a dog-trot over a five-mile portage 
without resting. 1 also have seen Indians carry canoes over moun- 
tains, crossing by the celebrated Ladder Portage in western 

Fig. 110. — Northern Quebec Indians crossing the "ladder portage, 

Quebec, where the only means of scaling a cliff is by ascending 
a ladder made of notched logs. For real canoe work it is 
necessary that a man should know how to carry his craft across 

68 Boat-Building and Boating 

country from one body of water to another. All through the 
Lakelands of Canada, and also the Lake St. John district, up 
to Hudson Bay itself, the only trails are by water, with portage 
across from one stream or lake to the other. 



A Simple Boat Which Any One Can Build— The Cheapest Sort 

of a Boat 

To construct this craft it is, of course, necessary that we shall 
have some lumber, but we will use the smallest amount and the 
expense will come within the limits of a small purse. 

First we must have two boards, their lengths depending upon 
circumstances and the lumber available. The ones in the 
diagram are supposed to be of pine to measure (after being 
trimmed) i8 feet long by i8 inches wide and about i inch thick. 
When the boards are trimmed down so as to be exact duplicates 
of each other, place one board over the other so that their edges 
all fit exactly and then nail each end of the two boards together 
for the distance of about six inches. Turn the boards over and 
nail them upon the opposite side in the same manner, clamping 
the nail ends if they protrude. Do this by holding the head of a 
hammer or a stone against the heads of the nails while you 
hold a wire nail against the protruding end, and with a hammer 
bend it over the nail until it can be mashed fiat against the board 
so that it will not project beyond its surface. 

After you have proceeded thus far, take some pieces of tin (Fig. 
112) and bend the ragged edges over, so as to make a clean, 
straight fold, and hammer it down flat until there are no rough or 
raw edges exposed. Now tack a piece of this tin over the end of 
the boards which composed the sides of the boat, as in Fig. 114. 
Make the holes for the tacks first by driving the pointed end of a 
wire nail through the tin w^here you wish the tacks to go and 
then tack the tin snugly and neatly on, after which tack on 
another piece of tin on both bow and stern, as in Fig. 116. This 
will hold the two ends of the boards securely together so that they 
may be carefully sprung apart in the middle to receive the middle 



Boat-Building and Boating 

mould which is to hold them in shape until the bottom of the boat 
is nailed on, and the permanent thwarts, or seats, fastened inside. 
When the latter are permanently fixed they will keep the boat in 

To make the mould, which is only a temporary thing, you 
may use any rough board, or boards nailed together with cleats 

1 A 


1 ^ 

1 - 

Fig. 1 11. — Parts of dory. 

to hold them. The mould should be 2 feet 6 inches long and i foot 
4 inches high. Fig. iii will show you how to cut off the ends 
to give the proper slant. The dotted lines show the board before 
it is trimmed in shape. By measuring along the edge of the board 
from each end 10.8 inches and marking the points, and then, with 
a carpenter's pencil ruling the diagonal lines to the other edge and 
ends of the board, the triangles may be sawed off with a hand saw. 

Fig. 112. 

Fig. 116. 
The simple details of the dory. 

Fig. xii shows where the mould is to be placed in the center 
of the two side boards. As the boards in this diagram are sup- 
posed to be on the slant, and consequently in the perspective, 
they do not appear as wide as they really are. The diagram is 
made also with the ends of the side boards free so as to better 
show the position of the mould. But when the side boards are 

How to Build a Paddling Dory 


sprung apart and the mould placed in position (Fig. 113), it will 
appear as in Fig. 116 or Fig. 117. Fig. 115 shows the shape of 
the stem-posts to be set in both bow and stern and nailed se- 
curely in place. 

When you have gone thus far fit in two temporary braces near 
xh^ bow and stern, as shown in Fig. 117. These braces are sim- 



PIECE ^-^ 

Copper. —-.*' 


Fig. 118. 
Top views of dory and parts of dory. 

ply narrow pieces of boards held in position by nails driven 
through the outside of the boat, the latter left with their heads 
protruding, sc that they may be easily drawn when necessary. 

Now turn the boat over bottom up and you will find that the 
angle at which the sides are bent will cause the bottom boards 
to rest upon a thin edge of the side boards, as shown in Fig. 119. 
With an ordinary jack-plane trim this down so that the bottom 
boards will rest flush and 

as in Fig. 120. 

Fig. 118 J. 

How to Calk a Boat so That 
It Won't Leak 

If you wish to make a 
bottom that will never leak, 

not even when it is placed in the water for the first time, plane off 
the boards on their sides, so that when fitted together they will 
leave a triangular groove between each board, as shown in Fig. 
1 18|. These grooves will show upon the inside of the boat, and not 


Boat-Building and Boating 

upon the outside, and in this case the calking is done from the 
inside and not from the outside. They are first calked with 
candle wick, over which putty is used, but for a rough boat it is 
not even necessary to use any calking. When the planks swell 
they will be forced together, so as to exclude all water. 

To fasten the bottom on the boat put a board lengthwise at the 
end, as shown in Fig. 121. One end shows the end board as it is 
first nailed on, and the other end shows it after it has been trimmed 
off to correspond with the sides of the boat. Now put your short 
pieces of boards for the bottom on one at a time, driving each one 
snug up against its neighbor before nailing it in place and leaving 

Fig. 117. 

Fig. 120. 

Fig. 121. 
Top view with sides in place, also reversed view showing how bottom boards are laid. 

the rough or irregular ends of each board protrude on each side, 
as shown at the right-hand end of Fig. 121. 

When all the boards are nailed in place (by beginning at one 
end and fitting them against each other until the other end is 
reached) they may be trimmed off with a saw (Fig. 121) and 
your boat is finished with the exception of the thwarts, or seats. 

If you intend to propel this with paddles like a canoe, you will 
need a seat in the centre for your passenger, and this may be 
placed in the position occupied by the form (Figs, in and 117) 
after the latter is removed. To fit a seat in it is only necessary to 
cut two cleats and nail them to the sides of the boat for the seat 
to rest upon and saw off a board the proper length to fit upon the 

How to Build a Paddling Dory 73 

cleats. It would be well now to fasten the braces in the bow and 
stern permanently, adjusting them to suit your convenience. 
The seat should be as low as possible for safety. With this your 
paddling dory is finished, and may be used even without being 
painted. A coat of paint, however, improves not only the looks 
but the tightness and durability of any boat. 

We have now advanced so far in our boat-building that it 
becomes necessary that the beginner should learn more about 
boats and boating, and since this book is written for beginners, 
we will take it for granted that they know absolutely nothing 
about the subject and will give all the rudimentary knowledge 
for landlubbers in the next chapter. 



Common Nautical Terms and Expressions Defined — How to Sail 
a Boat — Boat Rigs — Rowing -clothes — How to Make a Bath- 
ing-suit — How to Avoid Sunburn 

There are a few common terms with which all who venture 
on the water should be familiar, not only for convenience, but 
for prudential reasons. 

Accidents are liable to happen to boats of all descriptions, and 
often the safety of property and life depend upon the passengers' 
ability to understand what is said to them by the officers or sailors 
in charge of the craft. 

To those who are familiar with the water and shipping it may 
seem absurd to define the bow and stern of a boat, but there are 
people who will read this book who cannot tell the bow from 
the stern, so we will begin this chapter with the statement that 

The bow is the front end of the boat, and 

The stem is the rear end of the boat. 

For'ard is toward the bow of the boat. 

Aft is toward the stern of the boat. Both terms are used by 
sailors as forward and backward are used by landsmen. 

The hull is the boat itself without masts, spars, or rigging. A 
skiff and a birch-bark canoe are hulls. 

The keel is the piece of timber running along the centre of the 
bottom of the hull, like the runner of a skate, and used to give 
the boat a hold on the water, so that she will not sHde sideways. 

When you are sitting in the stern of a boat, facing the bow, 
the side next to your right hand is the right-hand side of the boat 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


and the side next to your left hand is the left-hand side of the boat. 

But these terms are not used by seamen; they always say 
Starboard for the right-hand side of the boat, and 
Port for the left-hand side of the boat. Formerly the left-hand 

side was called the larboard, but this occasioned many serious 



Fig. 122. — Top view of small boat. 

mistakes on account of the similarity of the sound of larboard and 
starboard when used in giving orders. 

Red and Green Lights 

After dark a red light is carried on the port side and a green 
light on the starboard side of all vessels in motion. If you can 
remember that port wine is red, and that the port light is of the 
same color, you will always be able to tell in which direction an 
approaching craft is pointing by the relative location of the lights. 

"When both lights you see ahead, 
Port your helm and show your redl 
Green to green and red to red, 
You're all right, and go ahead I" 

If you are a real landlubber, the verse quoted will be of little 
service, because you will not know how to port your helm. In 
fact, you probably will not know where to look for the helm or 
what it looks like; but only a few of our readers are out-and-out 


Boat-Building and Boating 

landlubbers, and most of them know that the helm is in some 
way connected with the steering apparatus. 

The rudder is the movable piece of board at the stern of the 
boat by means of which the craft is guided. The rudder is moved 
by a lever, ropes, or a wheel. 

The tiller is the lever for moving the rudder, or the ropes used 
for the same purpose (Fig. 123). 

Fig. 123.— Helm — Lever, or stick, for tiller. 

The wheel is the wheel whose spokes end in handles on the 
outer edge of the rim, or felly, and it is used for moving the rudder 
(Fig. 124). 

The helm is that particular part of the steering apparatus that 
you put your hands on when steering. 

The deck is the roof of the hull. 

The centreboard is an adjustable keel that can be raised or 
lowered at pleasure. It is an American invention. The centre- 
board, as a rule, is only used on comparatively small vessels. 
The inventor of the centreboard is Mr. Salem Wines, who kept 
a shop on Water Street, near Market Slip, and, when alive, was a 
well-known New York boat-builder. His body now lies in Green- 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


wood Cemetery, and upon the headstone of his grave is the 
inscription, "The Inventor of the Centreboard." 

For sailing, the boat, or hull, is rigged with masts and spars 
for spreading the sails to catch the wind. 

The masts are the upright poles, or sticks, that hold the sails. 

Fig. 124— Helm— The wheel. 

The yards are the poles, or sticks, at right angles with the masta 
that spread the sails. 

The boom is the movable spar at the bottom of the sail. 

The gaff is the pole, or spar, for spreading the top, or head, of 
the sail (Fig. 125). 

The sail is a big canvas kite, of which the boom, gaff, and masts 
are the kite-sticks. You must not understand by this that the 
sail goes soaring up in the air, for the weight of the hull prevents 
that; but if you make fast a large kite to the mast of a boat it 
would be a sail, and if you had a line long and strong enough, 
and should fasten any spread sail to it, there can be no doubt that 
the sail would fly. 

78 Boat-Building and Boating 

The spars are the masts, bowsprit, yards, and gaffs. 
The bowsprit is the stick, or sprit, projecting from the bow of the 
boat (Fig. i6i, Sloop). 

The foremast is the mast next to the bow — the forward mast 
(Fig. 159, Ship). 

The mainmast is the second mast — the mast next to the fore- 

Mizzen-mast is the mast next to and back of the mainmast 

(Fig. 159, Ship). 

The rigging of a boat consists of the ropes, or lines, attached to 

its masts and sails, but a boat's rig refers to the 

number of masts as well as to the shape of its 


Stays are strong ropes supporting the masts, 
fore and aft. 

Shrouds are strong ropes reaching from the 
mastheads to the sides of the vessel; supports 
Fig. 125.— A sail. ^^^ ^^c masts, starboard and port. 

Ratlines are the little ropes that form the 
steps, or foot ropes, that run crosswise between the shrouds. 

The painter is the rope at the bow of a small boat, used for the 
same purpose as is a hitching-strap on a horse. 

The standing rigging consists of the stays and shrouds. 
The running rigging consists of all the ropes used in handling 
yards and sails. 

The sheets are the ropes, or lines, attached to the corners of sails, 
by which they are governed (Fig. 126). 

The main sheet is the rope that governs the mainsail. 
The jib-sheet is the rope that governs the jib-sail. 
The gaskets are the ropes used in lashing the sails when furled. 
The braces are the ropes used in swinging the yards around. 
The jib-stay is the stay that runs from the foremast to the 

The bob-stay is practically an extension of the jib-stay and the 
chief support of the spars. It connects the bow of the boat with 

The Landlubber s Chapter 79 

the bowsprit and prevents the latter from bobbing up and 

Besides the port and starboard sides of a boat there are the 
windward and leeward sides. Do not understand by this that the 
boa^ has four sides, like a square. Windward may be the port 
or the starboard side, according to the direction the wind blows; 

Windward means the side of the boat against which the wind 
blows — the side where the wind climbs aboard; or it may mean 
the direction from which the wind comes. The opposite side 
is called 

Leeward — that is, the side of the boat opposite to that against 
which the wind blows, where the wind tumbles overboard, or the 
side opposite to windward. When you are sailing you may be 
near a 

Lee Shore — that is, the shore on your lee side against which 
the wind blows; or a 

Windward Shore — that is, the land on your windward side 
from which the wind blows. 

All seamen dread a lee shore, as it is a most dangerous shore to 
approach, from the fact that the wind is doing its best to blow 
you on the rocks or beach. But the windward shore can be ap- 
proached with safety, because the wind will keep you off the 
rocks, and if it is blowing hard, the land will break the force of 
the wind. 

In a canoe or shell the boatman sits either directly on the bot- 
tom, or, as in the shell, very close to it, and the weight of his body 
serves to keep the boat steady, but larger crafts seldom rely upon 
live weights to steady them. They use 

Ballast — that is, weights of stone, lead, iron, or sand-bags, 
used to balance the boat and make her steady. 

As has been said before in this chapter, the sail is a big canvas 
kite made fast to the boat and called a sail, but the ordinary kite 
has its covering stretched permanently on rigid sticks. 

The sail, however, can be stretched to its full extent or only 


Boat-Building and Boating 

partially, or it may be rolled up, exposing nothing but the masts 
to the force of the wind. To accomplish all this there are various 
ropes and attachments, all of which are named. 

Fig. 126.— Sail and sheet. 

Fig. 127.— Parts of sail. 

It is quite important that the beginner should know the 
names of all the 

Parts of a Sail 

Luff. — ^That part of the sail adjoining the mast — the front of 
the sail (Fig. 127). 

Leach. — That part of the sail stretched between the outer or 
after end of the boom and the outer end of the gaff — the back 
part of the sail (Fig. 127). 

Head. — That part of the sail adjoining the gaff — the top of the 

Foot. — ^That part of the sail adjoining the boom — the bottom 
of the sail (Fig. 127). 

Clews. — A general name for the four corners of the sail. 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


Clew. — The particular corner at the foot of the sail where the 
leach and boom meet (Fig. 127). 

Tack. — The corner of the sail where boom and mast meet 
(Fig. 127). 

Throat, or Nock. — The corner of the sail where gaff and mast 
meet (Fig. 127). 

Peak. — Corner of the sail where the leach and gaff meet 
(Fig. 127). 

Fig. 128.— Starboard helm. 

Fig. 129.— Port helm. 

How to Steer a Boat 

When you wish your boat to turn to the right push your helm 
to the left. This will push the rudder to the right and turn the 
boat in that direction. When you wish your boat to turn to the 
left push your helm to the right. In other words, starboard your 
helm and you will turn to the port (Fig. 128). Port your helm 
and you will turn to the starboard (Fig. 129). 

From a reference to the diagram you may see that when you 
port your helm you move the tiller to the port side of the boat, 
and when you starboard your helm you move your tiller to the 
starboard side of the boat (Fig. 128), but to ease your helm you 
move your helm toward the centre of the boat — that is, amidships. 

82 Boat-Building and Boating 

How to Sail a Boat 

If you fasten the bottom of a kite to the ground, you will find 
that the wind will do its best to blow the kite over, and if the kite 
is fastened to the mast of a toy boat, the wind will try to blow the 
boat over. 

In sailing a boat the effort of the wind apparently has but one 
object, and that is the upsetting of the boat. The latter, being 
well balanced, is constantly endeavoring to sit upright on its keel, 
and you, as a sailor, are aiding the boat in the struggle, at the 
same time subverting the purpose of the wind to suit your own 
ideas. It is an exciting game, in which man usually comes out 
ahead, but the wind gains enough victories to keep its courage up. 

Every boat has peculiarities of its own, and good traits as well 
as bad ones, which give the craft a personal character that lends 
much to your interest, and even affects your sensibilities to the 
extent of causing you to have the same affection for a good, trust- 
worthy craft that you have for an intelligent and kind dog or 

A properly balanced sail-boat, with main sheet trimmed flat 
and free helm, should be as sensitive as a weathercock and act 
like one — that is, she ought to swing around until her bow pointed 
right into the "eye of the wind," the direction from which the 
wind blows. Such a craft it is not difficult to sail, but it frequently 
happens that the boat that is given to you to sail is not properly 
balanced, and shows a constant tendency to "come up in the 
wind" — face the wind — when you are doing your best to keep her 
sails full and keep her on her course. This may be caused by too 
much sail aft. The boat is then said to carry a weather helm. 

Weather Helm. — When a boat shows a constant tendency to 
come up in the wind. 

Lee Helm. — When a boat shows a constant tendency to fall 
off the wind — that is, when the wind blows her bow to the leeward. 
This is a much worse trait than the former, and a boat with a lee 
helm is a dangerous boat. It may be possible to remedy it by 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


adding sail aft or reducing sail forward, which should immedi- 
ately be done. 

In spite of the fact, already stated, that the wind's constant 
effort is to capsize a boat, there is little or no danger of a properly 
rigged boat upsetting unless the sheets are fast or hampered in 
some way. When a sail-boat upsets it is, of course, because the 


Fig. 130.— Close-hauled. Fig. 131.— Before the wind. 

Top view of boats, showing position of helm and boom. 

wind blows it over. Now, the wind cannot blow a boat over 
unless the boat presents some surface larger than its hull for the 
wind to blow against, and the sail is the only object that offers 
enough surface to the breeze to cause an upset. 

If the sheet is slackened, the sail will swing around until it 
flaps like a flag and only the thin edge is presented to the wind; 
and a boat that a flag will upset is no boat for beginners to trust 
themselves in. True, the boom may be very long and heavy 
enough to make it dangerous to let so much of it overboard, but 
this is seldom the case. A good sailor keeps his eyes constantly 
on the sails and trims them to take advantage of the slightest 

84 Boat- Building and Boating 

favorable breeze. In place of losing control of his sail by letting 
go the sheets he will ease the tiller so as to "spill" part of the wind 
that is, let the forward part, or luff, of the sail shake a bit. Or, 
in case of a sudden puff of wind, he may deem it necessary to 
"luff" — that is, let her shake — and slacken the sheets too. 

Trimmed Flat. — Sheets hauled in until the boom is only a litde 
to the leeward of the helm (Fig. 130). 

Close-hauled. — Sheets trimmed flat and the boat pointing as 
near as possible to the eye of the wind. Then the sail cannot 
belly, and is called flat (Fig. 130). 

To Sail Close-hauled 

The skipper must watch that his sail does not flap or ripple at 
the throat, for that means that he is pointing too close to the 
wind and that some of the breeze is blowing on both sides of 
his sail, which even a novice can see will retard the boat. 

Upon discovering a rippling motion at the luff of the sail put 
the helm up — that is, move the tiller a little to windward until the 
sail stops its flapping. 

Before the Wind. — When the wind is astern; sailing with the 
wind; sailing directly from windward to leeward (Fig. 131). 

In order to reach the desired point it is often expedient to sail 
before the wind, but unless the wind is light, beginners had 
better not try this. To sail before the wind you let your sheets 
out until the boom stands at almost right angles with the boat. 
Keep your eye on the sail and see that it does not flap, for if the 
man at the helm is careless and allows the boat to point enough 
away from the direction of the wind to allow the wind to get on 
the other side of the sail, the latter will swing around or jibe with 
such force as to endanger the mast, if it does not knock some one 

The price of liberty is constant vigilance, and the price of a 
good sail is the same. I have seen a mast snapped off clean at 
the deck by a jibe, and once when out after ducks every one was 
so intent upon the game that proper attention was not paid to 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


the sail. The wind got round and brought the boom with a 
swing aft, knocking the captain of our boat club overboard. 

Fig. 132.— Boom 
hauled in. 

Fig. 133.— On naw 

Fig. 131i.— Before 
the wind. 

Figs. 131 J, 132, and 133.— Jibing. 

Had the boom hit him in the head and stunned him, the result 
might have been fatal. 

Wing and Wing. — When a schooner goes before the wind with 
one sail out at nearly right angles on the port side and the other 
in the same position on the starboard side she is said to be wing 
and wing and presents a beautiful sight. 

86 Boat-Building and Boating 

Tacking. — Working to the windward by a series of diagonal 

Legs. — The moves or diagonal courses made in tacking. It is 
apparent to the most unthinking observer that no vessel propelled 
by sail can move against the direct course of the wind — that is, 
nothing but electricity, naphtha, steam, or some such power can 
drive a boat into the eye of the wind. But what cannot be ac- 
complished in a direct manner can be done by a series of com- 
promises, each of which will bring us nearer to the desired 

First we point the boat to the right or left, as the case may be, 
as near or as close to the wind as the boat will sail. Then we 
come about and sail in the other direction as close as practicable 
to the eye of the wind, and each time we gain something in a direct 

When your boat changes its direction on a tack it is done by 
" jibing,', or "coming about." 

Jibing. — With the wind on the quarter, haul the main boom 
aft or amidship with all possible speed, by means of the main 
sheets (Fig. 132), and as the wind strikes the sail on the other 
side let it out as deliberately as possible until it reaches the posi- 
tion desired (Fig. 133). 

Beginners should never attempt to jibe, for if there is more 
than a capful of wind, the sail will probably get away from them, 
and, as described in going before the wind, some disaster is liable 
to occur. Experts only jibe in light winds^ and frequently lower 
the peak, so as to reduce sail, before attempting a jibe. 

Coming About 

When you wish to come about see that all the tackle, ropes, 
etc., are clear and in working order, and that you are making 
good headway ; then call out : " Helm's a-lee ! " or " Ready about ! " 
and push the tiller in the direction opposite to that from which the 
wind blows — that is, to the lee side of the boat. This will bring 
the bow around until the wind strikes the sail upon the side op- 

The Landlubber s Chapter 


posite to that which it struck before the helm was a-lee (Figs. 

134, 135. 136, 137)- 

If you are aboard a sloop or schooner, ease off the jib-sheet, but 
keep control of it, so that as the boat comes up to the wind you 
can make the jib help the bow around by holding the sheets so as 

Figs. 134 135, 136, and 137.— Coming about. 

to catch the wind aback. When the bow of the craft has passed 
the eye of the wind and the sail begins to fill give the order to 
make fast, or trim, the jib, and off you go upon the opposite tack, 
or on a new leg. 

If the wind is light, or if, for any cause, the boat works slowly, 
you can sometimes help her by trimming in the main sheet when 
you let the jib-sheet fly. In the diagram of coming about no 
jib is shown. 

Wearing is a term sometimes used in place of jibing. 

In a Thunder-storm 

A thunder-storm is always an uncertain thing. There may be 
a veritable tornado hidden in the black clouds that we see rising 
on the horizon, or it may simply "iron out the wind" — that is, 
go grumbling overhead — and leave us becalmed, to get home the 
best way we can; generally by what the boys call a "white- 
ash breeze" — that is, by using the sweeps or oars. 

88 Boat-Building and Boating 

On Long Island Sound a thunder-storm seems to have certain 
fixed rules of conduct. In the first place, it comes up from the 
leeward, or against the wind. Just before the storm strikes you 
for an instant the wind ceases and the sails flap idly. Then look 
out! for in nine cases out of ten you are struck the next moment 
by a sudden squall from exactly the opposite direction from which 
the wind blew a moment before. 

What to Do 

Make for the nearest port with all speed, and keep a man at the 
downhaul ready at a moment's notice to lower sail. The mo- 
ment the wind stops drop the sail and make everything snug, leav- 
ing only bare poles. When the thunder-squall strikes you, be it 
ever so hard, you are now in little danger; and if the wind from 
the new quarter is not too fresh, you can hoist sail again and make 
the best of your way to the nearest port, where you can "get in 
out of the wet." 

If the wind is quite fresh keep your peak down, and with a 
reefed sail speed on your way. If it is a regular howler, let your 
boat drive before the wind under bare poles until you can find 
shelter or until it blows over, and the worst mishap you are likely 
to incur is a good soaking from the rain. 

Shortening Sail. — Just as soon as the boat heels over too far 
for safety, or as soon as you are convinced that there is more wind 
than you need for comfortable sailing, it is time to take a reef — • 
that is, to roll up the bottom of the sail to the row of little ropes, 
or reefing points, on the sail and make fast there. This, of course, 
makes a smaller sail, and that is what you wish. 

While under way it will be found impossible to reef a sail ex- 
cept when sailing close-hauled. So the boat is brought up into 
the wind by pushing the helm down, as if you intended to come 
about. When possible it is better to lower the sail entirely be- 
fore attempting to put in a reef. 

The Landlubber s Chapter 89 

To Reef Without Lowering Sail 

It sometimes happens that on account of the proximity of a 
lee shore, and the consequent danger of drifting in that direction, 
or for some other equally good reason, it is inadvisable to lower 
sail and lose headway. Under such circumstances the main. 

Fig. 138. — Squirming; jib on port side, boom close-hauled 
on starboard side. 

sheet must be trimmed flat, keeping the boat as ciose as possible 
to the wind, the helm must be put up hard a-lee, and jib-sheet 
trimmed to windward (Fig. 138). 

When this is done the wind will hit the jib, "paying her head 
off," or pushing her bow to leeward, and this tendency is counter- 
acted by the helm and mainsail, bringing the bow up into the 
wind. This keeps the boat squirming. Lower the mainsail 
until the row of reef points is just on a line with the boom, keeping 
to the windward of the sail. Tie the first point — that is, the one 
on the luff rope — then the one on the leach, being careful to stretch 
out the foot of the sail. Then tie the remaining points, always 

90 Boat-Building and Boating 

making a square or reefing knot. Tie them to the jack-stay on 
the boom or around the boom. 

The Reef or Square Knot 

is most frequently used, as its name implies, in reefing sails. 

First make a plain overhand knot, as in Fig. 139. Then repeat 
the operation by taking the end and passing it 
over and under the loop, drawing the parts 
tight, as shov^n in Fig. 140. Care should be 

^TquareVreef knot ~ observed in crossiug the ends so that they will 
always lay fairly alongside the main parts. 

Otherwise the knot will prove a granny and be comparatively 


To Shake Out a Reef 

untie the knots, keeping to the windward of the sail. Untie the 
knot at the leach first, next the one at the luff, and then the re- 
maining points. In lowering a sail you use a rope called the 

Starboard Tack. — When the main boom is over the port side. 

Port Tack. — When the main boom is over the starboard side. 

Right of Way. — All boats sailing on the starboard tack have 
the right of way over all those on the port tack. In other words, 
if you are on the starboard tack, those on the port tack must keep 
out of your way. Any boat sailing close-hauled has the right of 
way over a boat sailing free. 

Lights for Canoe 

A canoe under sail at night should have an uncolored lantern 
hung to her mizzen-mast to notify other craft that she is out and 
objects to being run down. The light is put on the mizzen so that 
it may be behind the skipper and not dazzle him. 

What you have read in the foregoing pages will not be found 
very difiicult to remember, but there is only one way to learn to 
sail and that is by sailing. If possible, sail with some one who is 

The Landlubber s Chapter 91 

a good seaman. If this sort of companion cannot be had, try it 
alone on smooth water and with short sail until you accustom 
yourself to the boat and its peculiarities. No boy ever learned 
to skate or swim from books, but books often have been helpful 
in giving useful hints to those who were really learning by practical 

Some Do Nets 

Do not overload the boat. 

Do not carry too much sail. 

Do not sail in strange waters without chart or compass. 

Do not forget your anchor. 

Do not forget your paddles or oars. 

Do not attempt to learn to sail before you know how to swim. 

Do not sit on the gunwale. 

Do not put the helm down too suddenly or too far. 

Do not let go the helm. 

Do not mistake caution for cowardice. 

Do not be afraid to reef. 

Do not fear the ridicule of other landlubbers. 

Do not fail to keep the halyards and sheets clear. 

Do not jibe in a stiff wind. 

Do not fail to keep your head in times of emergency. 

Do not make a display of bravery until the occasion demands it. 

Do not allow mistakes or mishaps to discourage you. 

Do not associate with a fool who rocks a boat. 

You will soon become an expert and be able to engage in one of 
our most exhilarating, healthy, and manly sports and earn the 
proud distinction of being a good small-boat sailor. 

It is Necessary to Learn to Swim 

From the parents' point of view, nowhere that a boy's restless 
nature impels him to go is fraught with so much peril as the water, 
and nowhere is a boy happier than when he is on the water, un- 

92 Boat-Building and Boating 

less it is when he is in it. Nowhere can be found a better school 
for his young mind and body than that furnished by boating. 
Hence it appears to be the imperative duty for parents personally 
to see that their children are taught to swim as soon as their little 
limbs have strength enough to make the proper motions. 


In aquatic sports of all kinds, if you expect to have fun, you 
must dress appropriately. You should have a suit of old clothes 
that you can change for dry ones when the sport is over. When 
boating, it is nonsense to pretend you can keep dry under all the 
varying conditions of wind and weather. If your purse is small, 
and you want a good rowing-suit, it can be made of last winter's 
woollen underclothes, and will answer for the double purpose of 
rowing and bathing. 

How to Make a Bathing-Suit 

First take an old woollen undershirt and cut the sleeves off 
above the elbows. Then coax your mother, aunt, or sister to sew 
it up in front like a sweater, and hem the edges of the sleeves where 
they have just been cut off. 

Next take a pair of woollen drawers and have them sewed up in 
front, leaving an opening at the top about four inches in length; 
turn the top edge down all around to cover a piece of tape that 
should be long enough to tie in front. Have this hem or flap 
sewed down to cover the tape, and allow the two ends of the tape 
to protrude at the opening in front. The tape should not be 
sewed to the cloth, but should move freely, so that you can tighten 
or loosen it at will. Cut the drawers off at the knees and have 
the edges hemmed, and you will have a first- class bathing or 

If woollen clothes are not to be had, cotton will do, but wool is 
coolest and warmest, as the occasion may require. 

When rowing wear old socks, woollen ones if you have them, 
and old shoes cut down like slippers. The latter can be kicked 

The Landlubber s Chapter 93 

off at a moment's notice, and, if lost, they are of no value, and 
may be easily replaced. 

When on shore a long pair of woollen stockings to cover your 
bare legs and a sweater to pull over your sleeveless shirt are handy 
and comfortable, but while sailing, paddling, or rowing in hot 
weather the rowing-suit is generally all that comfort requires. 
Of course, if your skin is tender, you are liable to be terribly sun- 
burned on your arms, neck, and legs; but 


may be avoided by ^^radually accustoming your limbs to the ex- 
posure. Dearly will you pay for your negligence if you go out 
for a day with bare arms or legs in the hot sun before you have 
toughened yourself, :.nd little will you sleep that night. 

I have seen young men going to business the day following a 
regatta with no collars on their red necks, and no shirt over their 
soft undershirts, the skin being too tender to bear the touch of the 
stiff, starched linen, and I have known others who could not sleep 
a wink on account of the feverish state of their bodies, caused by 
the hot sun and a tender skin. Most boys have had some ex- 
perience from sunburn, acquired while bathing. If care is taken 
to cover your arms and legs after about an hour's exposure, you 
will find that in place of being blistered, your skin will be first 
pink and then a faint brownish tint, which each succeeding ex- 
posure will deepen until your limbs will assume that dark, rich 
mahogany color of which athletes are so proud. This makes your 
skin proof against future attacks of the hottest rays of the sun. 

Besides the pain and discomfort of a sudden and bad sunburn 
on your arms, the effect is not desirable, as it is very liable to 
cover your arms with freckles. I have often seen men with 
beautifully bronzed arms and freckled shoulders, caused by 
going out in their shells first with short sleeves and then with 
shirts from which the sleeves were entirely cut away, exposing 
the white, tender shoulders to the fierce heat, to which they 
were unaccustomed. 

94 Boat-Building and Boating 

It is a good plan to cover the exposed parts of your body with 
sweet-oil, vaseline, mutton-tallow, beef-tallow, or lard. This is 
good as a preventive while in the sun, and excellent as an applica- 
tion after exposure. Any sort of oil or grease that does not contain 
salt is good for your skin. 

Clothes for Canoeing 

In canoeing I have found it convenient to dress as I would in a 
shell boat, but I generally have had a sweater and a pair of long 
trousers stowed away, ready to be pulled on over my rowing- 
clothes when I landed. Once, when I neglected to put these 
extra clothes aboard, I was storm-bound up Long Island Sound, 
and, leaving my boat, I took the train home, but I did not enjoy 
my trip, for the bare legs and arms and knit cap attracted moro 
attention than is pleasant for a modest man. 

Do not wear laced shoes in a canoe, for experience has taught 
boating-men that about the most inconvenient articles of clothing 
to wear in the water are laced shoes. While swimming your feet 
are of absolutely no use if incased in this style of foot-gear, and 
all the work must be done with the arms. But if you have old 
slippers, they may b: kicked off, and then you are dressed prac- 
tically in a bathing-suit, and can swim with comfort and ease. 

Possibly these precautions may suggest the idea that a ducking 
is not at all an improbable accident, and it must be confessed 
that the boy who thinks he can learn to handle small boats with- 
out an occasional unlooked-for swim is liable to discover his mis- 
take before he has become master of his craft. 

Stick to Your Boat 

Always remember that a wet head is a very small object in 
the water, and liable to be passed by unnoticed, but that a 
capsized boat can scarcely fail to attract attention and insure a 
speedy rescue from an awkward position. As for the real danger 
of boating, it cannot be great where care is used. Not one fatality 
has occurred on the water, among all of my large circle of boating 

The Landlubber's Chapter 95 

friends, and personally I have never witnessed a fatal accident in 
all the years I have spent rowing and sailing. 


All canoes should have a good cork life-preserver in them when 
the owner ventures away from land. I never but once ventured 
any distance without one, and that is the only time I was ever in 
need of a life-preserver. The ordinary cork jacket is best. It 
can be used for a seat, and when spread on the bottom of your 
canoe, with an old coat or some article thrown over it for a cushion, 
it is not at all an uncomfortable seat. Most canoes have air- 
tight compartments fore and aft — that is, at both ends — and the 
boat itself is then a good life-preserver. Even without the air- 
tight compartments, unless your boat is loaded with ballast or 
freight, there is no danger of its sinking. A canvas canoe, as a 
rule, has enough woodwork about it to support your weight when 
the boat is full of water. 

An upset canvas canoe supported me for an hour and a half 
during a blow on Long Island Sound, and had not a passing 
steamer rescued me, the canoe would evidently have buoyed me 
up as long as I could have held on to the hull. 


How to Make a Lee-Board for a Canoe 

Now that the open canvas canoe has become so popular the 
demand has arisen for some arrangement by which it may be 
used with sails. Of course it is an easy matter to rig sails on al- 
most any sort of craft, but unless there is a keel or a centreboard 
the boat will make lee- way, i. e., it will have no hold on the water, 
and when you try to tack, the boat will blow sideways, which may 
be fraught with serious results. The only time that the author 
ever got in a serious scrape with his canoe, was when he carelessly 
sailed out in a storm, leaving the key to his fan centreboard at 
the boat-house. Being unable to let down the centreboard, he 
was eventually driven out to sea, and when he became too fatigued 
to move quickly was capsized. 

Now to prevent such occurrences and to do away with the in- 
convenience of the centreboard in an open canoe, various designs 
of lee-boards have been made. A lee-board is, practically speak- 
ing, a double centreboard. The paddle-like form of the blades 
of the boards given in Fig. 140 give them a good hold on the 
water when they are below the surface, and they can also be al- 
lowed to swing clear of the water when temporarily out of use. Or 
they may be removed and stowed away in the canoe. As you 
see by the diagram the two blades are connected by a spruce 
rod; the blades themselves may be made of some hard wood, 
like cherry, and bevelled at the edges like a canoe-paddle. 
They should be a scant foot in width and a few inches over 


How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 


two feet long, and cut out of three-quarter-inch material. The 
spruce cross-bar is about one and a half inch in diameter, the 
ends of which are thrust through a hole in the upper end of each 
lee-board. A small hole is bored in the top of each lee-board, 

Fig. 140. — Lee-board, 

Fig. 140a. — Bolt and thumb-screw. 

down through the ends of the cross-board, and when a galvanized- 
iron pin is pushed down through this hole, it will prevent the bar 
from turning in its socket. A couple more galvanized-iron pins 
or bars fit in holes in the spruce cross-bar, as shown in the dia- 
gram (Fig. 140). At the top end of each of these metal bolts 
is a thumb-screw which runs down over the thread of the bolt. 
The bottom or lower end is bent at right angles that it may be 
fitted under the gunwale of the canoe, and tightened by twisting 
the thumb-screws. The advantage of this sort of arrangement 
is that the lee-boards may be slid backward or forward and sj 

98 Boat-Building and Boating 

adjusted that the canoe will sail in the direction in which it is 
steered. The place where the lee-board is to be fastened can 
only be found by experiment. When it is too far toward the 
bow, the boat will show a desire to come up against the wind, 
thus making work for the steersman to keep the wind in the sails. 
If the lee-board is fastened too far toward the stern the canoe 
will show a decided determination to swing around with its stern 
to the wind, which is a dangerous trick for a well-trained craft to 
indulge in. 

I have seen open canvas canoes at the outfitting stores marked 
as low as seventeen dollars, but they usually cost twenty-five dol- 
lars or more, and I would advise ambitious canoeists to build 
their own canoes, and even to make their own lee-boards, 
although it would be cheaper to buy the latter. 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 

To have the tiller in one's own hands and feel competent, under 
all ordinary circumstances, to bring a boat safely into port, 
gives the same zest and excitement to a sail (only in a far greater 
degree) that the handling of the whip and reins over a lively 
trotter does to a drive. 

Knowing and feeling this, it was my intention to devote a couple 
of chapters to telling how to sail a boat; but through the kind 
courtesy of the editor of The American Canoeist^ I am able 
to do much better by giving my readers a talk on this subject by 
one whose theoretical knowledge and practical experience renders 
him pre-eminently fit to give reliable advice and counsel. The 
following is what Mr. Charles Ledyard Norton, editor of the 
above-mentioned journal, says: 

Very many persons seem to ignore the fact that a boy who 
knows how to manage a gun is, upon the whole, less likely to be 
shot than one who is a bungler through ignorance, or that a good 
swimmer is less likely to be drowned than a poor one. Such, 
however, is the truth beyond question. If a skilled sportsman is 
now and then shot, or an expert swimmer drowned, the fault is 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 99 

not apt to be his own, and if the one who is really to blame had 
received proper training, it is not likely that the accident would 
have occurred at all. The same argument holds good with 
regard to the management of boats, and the author is confident 
that he merits the thanks of mothers, whether he receives them or 
not, for giving their boys a few hints as to practical rigging and 

In general, there are three ways of learning how to sail boats. 
First, from the light of nature, which is a poor way; second, from 
books, which is better; and third, from another fellow who knows 
how, which is best of all. I will try to make this article as much 
like the other fellow and as little bookish as possible. 

Of course, what I shall say in these few paragraphs will be 
of small use to those who live within reach of the sea or some 
big lake and have always been used to boats; but there are 
thousands and thousands of boys and men who never saw the 
sea, nor even set eyes on a sail, and who have not the least idea 
how to make the wind take them where they want to go. I once 
knew some young men from the interior who went down to the 
sea-side and hired a boat, with the idea that they had nothing to 
do but hoist the sail and be blown wherever they liked. The 
result was that they performed a remarkable set of manoeuvres 
within sight of the boat-house, and at last went helplessly out to 
sea and had to be sent after and brought back, when they were 
well laughed at for their performances, and had reason to consider 
themselves lucky for having gotten off so cheaply. 

The general principles of sailing are as simple as the national 
game of "one ole cat." That is to say, if the wind always blew 
moderately and steadily, it would be as easy and as safe to sail a 
boat as it is to drive a steady old family horse of good and regular 
habits. The fact, however, is that winds and currents are vari- 
able in their moods, and as capable of unexpected freaks as 
the most fiery of unbroken colts; but when properly watched 
and humored they are tractable and fascinating playmates and 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Now, let us come right down to first principles. Take a bit 
of pine board, sharpen it at one end, set up a mast about a 
quarter of the length of the whole piece from the bow, fit on a 
square piece of stiff paper or card for a sail, and you are ready 
for action. Put this in the water, with the sail set squarely 
across (A, Fig. 141), and she will run off before the wind — which 

Fig. 141. 
Lesson in sailing for beginners. 

is supposed to be blowing as indicated by the arrow — at a good 
rate of speed. If she does not steer herself, put a small weight 
near the stern, or square end; or, if you like, arrange a thin bit 
of wood for a rudder. 

Probably the first primeval man who was born with nau- 
tical instincts discovered this fact, and, using a bush for a sail, 
greatly astonished his fellow primevals by winning some pre- 
historic regatta. But that was all he could do. He was as help- 
less as a balloonist is in midair. He could go, but he could not 
get back, and we may be sure that ages passed away before the 
possibility of sailing to windward was discovered. 

Now, put up or "step" another mast and sail like the first, 
about as far from the stern as the first is from the bow. Turn 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 101 

the two sails at an angle of forty-five degrees across the boat 
(B or C, Fig. 141) and set her adrift. She will make considera- 
ble progress across the course of the wind, although she will at 
the same time drift with it. If she wholly refuses to go in the 
right direction, place a hght weight on her bow, so that she will 
be a httle "down by the head," or move the aftermost mast and 
sail a little nearer to the stem. 

The little rude affair thus used for experiment will not actually 
make any progress to windward, because she is so light that she 

moves sidewise almost as easily as she does forward. With a 
larger, deeper boat, and with sails which can be set at any angle, 
the effect will be different. So long as the wind presses against 
the after side of the sail, the boat will move through the water in 
the direction of the least resistance, which is forward. A square 
sail having the mast in the middle was easiest to begin with for 
purposes of explanation; but now we will change to a ''fore-and- 
aft" rig — that is, one with the mast at the forward edge or "luff" 
of the sail, as in Fig. 142. Suppose the sail to be set at the angle 
shown, and the wind blowing as the arrow points. The boat can- 
not readily move sidewise, because of the broadside resistance; 
she does not move backward, because the wind is pressing on the 
aftermost side of the sail. So she very naturally moves forward. 
When she nears buoy No. i, the helmsman moves the "tiller," or 
handle of the rudder, toward the sail. This causes the boat to 
turn her head toward buoy No. 2, the sail swings across to the 

102 Boat-Building and Boating 

other side of the boat and fills on that side, which now in turn be- 
comes the aftermost, and she moves toward buoy No. 2 nearly at 
right angles to her former course. Thus, through a series of zig- 
zags, the w^ind is made to work against itself. This operation is 
called " tacking," or "working to windward," and the act of turn- 
ing, as at the buoys No. i and No. 2, is called "going about." 

It will be seen, then, that the science of sailing lies in being 
able to manage a boat w^ith her head pointing at any possible 
angle to or from the wind. Nothing but experience can teach 
one all the niceties of the art, but a httle aptitude and address will 
do to start with, keeping near shore and carrying httle sail. 

Simplest Rig Possible 

I will suppose that the reader has the use of a broad, flat- 
bottomed boat without any rudder. (See Fig. 143.) She can- 
not be made to work like a racing yacht under canvas, but lots 
of fun can be had out of her. 

Do not go to any considerable expense at the outset. Pro- 
cure an old sheet, or an old hay cover, six or eight feet square, 
and experiment with that before spending your money on new 
material. If it is a sheet, and somewhat weakly in its texture, 
turn all the edges in and sew them, so that it shall not give way 
at the hems. At each corner sew on a few inches of strong twine, 
forming loops at the angles. Sew on, also, eyelets or small loops 
along the edge which is intended for the luff of the sail, so that it 
can be laced to the mast. 

You are now ready for your spars, namely, a mast and a 
"sprit," the former a couple of feet longer than the luff of the sail, 
and the latter to be cut off when you find how long you want it. 
Let these spars be of pine, or spruce, or bamboo — as light as pos- 
sible, especially the sprit. An inch and a half diameter will do 
for the mast, and an inch and a quarter for the sprit, tapering to 
an inch at the top. To "step" the mast, bore a hole through one 
of the thwarts (seats) near the bow and make a socket or step on 
the bottom of the boat, just under the aforesaid hole — or if any- 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 


Aing a trifle farther forward — to receive the foot of the mast. 
This will hold the mast upright, or with a shght "rake" aft. 

Lace the luff of the sail to the mast so that its lower edge will 
swing clear by a foot or so of the boat's sides. Make fast to the 
loop at D a stout line, ten or twelve feet long. This is called the 
" sheet," and gives control of the sail. The upper end of the sprit, 

Fig. 143. — A simple rig. 

C, E, is trimmed so that the loop at C will fit over it but not slip 
down. The lower end is simply notched to receive a short line 
called a "snotter," as shown in the detailed drawing at the right of 
the cut (Fig. 143). It will be readily understood that, when the 
sprit is pushed upward in the direction of C, the sail will stand 
spread out. The line is placed in the notch at E and pulled up 
until the sail sets properly, when it is made fast to a cleat or to a 
cross-piece at F. This device is in common use and has its ad- 
vantages, but a simple loop for the foot of the sprit to rest in is 
more easily made and will do nearly as well. H is an oar for 
steering. Having thus described the simplest rig possible, we 
may turn our attention to more elegant and elaborate but no* 
always preferable outfits. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Leg-of-Mutton Rig 

One of the prettiest and most convenient rigs for a small 
boat is known as the "leg-of-mutton sharpie rig" (Fig. 144). 
The sail is triangular, and the sprit, instead of reaching to its 
upper corner, stands nearly at right angles to the mast. It is held 
in position at the mast by the devices already described. This 
rig has the advantage of keeping the whole sail flatter than any 
other, for the end of the sprit cannot "kick 
up," as the phrase goes, and so the sail holds 
all the wind it receives. 

Fig. 145 shows a device, published for the 
first time in the St. Nicholas Magazine for 
September, 1880, which enables the sailor to 
step and unstep his mast, and hoist or lower 
his sail without leaving his seat — a matter of 
great importance when the boat is light and 
tottlish, as in the case of that most beautiful 
of small craft, the modern canoe, where the 
navigator [sits habitually amidships. The 
lower mast (A, B, Fig. 145) stands about two and a half feet 
above the deck. It is fitted at the head with a metal ferrule 
and pin, and just above the deck with two half-cleats or other 
similar devices (A). The topmast (C, D) is fitted at F with a 
stout ring, and has double halyards (E) rove through or around 
its foot. The lower mast being in position (see lower part of Fig. 
145), the canoeist desiring to make sail brings the boat's head to 
the wind, takes the topmast with the sail loosely furled in one 
hand and the halyards in the other. It is easy for him by raising 
this mast, without leaving his seat, to pass the halyards one on 
each side of the lower mast and let them fall into place close to the 
deck under the half-cleats at A. Then, holding the halyards taut 
enough to keep them in position, he will hook the topmast ring 
over the pin in the lower mast-heat and haul away (see top part 
of Fig. 145). The mast will rise into place, where it is made fast 

Fig. 144. 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 


A collar of leather, or a knob of some kind, placed on the top- 
mast just below the ring, will act as a fulcrum when the halyards 
are hauled taut and keep the mast from working to and fro. 


Fig. 145. — A new device. 

The advantages of the rig are obvious. The mast can be 
raised without standing up, and in case of necessity the halyards 


Boat-Building and Boating 

J)cCculsof ^\ 

can be let go and the mast and sail unshipped and stowed below 
with the greatest ease and expedition, leaving only the short lower 
mast standing. A leg-of-mutton sail with a common boom along 
the foot is shown in the cut as the most easily illustrated applica- 
tion of the device, but there is no reason why it may not be ap- 
plied to a sail of different shape, with a 
sprit instead of a boom, and a square 
T/icXcute^-n, instead of a pointed head. 

The Latteen Rig 

is recommended only for boats which 
are ''stiff"— not totthsh, that is. The 
fact that a considerable portion of the 
sail projects forward of the mast renders 
it awkward in case of a sudden shift of 
wind. Its most convenient form is 
shown in Fig. 146. The arrangement 
for shipping and unshipping the yard is 
precisely like that shown in Fig. 145 — - 
a short lower mast with a pin at the top 
and a ring fitted to the yard. It has a 
boom at the foot which is joined to the 
yard at C by means of a hook or a 
simple lashing, having sufficient play to allow the two spars to 
shut up together hke a pair of dividers. The boom (C, E ) has, 
where it meets the short lower mast, a half-cleat, or jaw, shown in 
detail at the bottom of the cut (Fig. 146), the circle representing a 
cross-section of the mast. This should be lashed to the boom, as 
screws or bolts would weaken it. To take in sail, the boatman brings 
the boat to the wind, seizes the boom and draws it toward him. 
This disengages it from the mast. He then shoves it forward, when 
the yard (C, D) falls of its own weight into his hands and can be 
at once lifted clear of the lower mast. To keep the sail fiat, it is 
possible to arrange a collar on the lower mast so that the boom, 
when once in position, cannot slip upward and suffer the sail to bag. 

Fig. 146.— The latteen rig. 

How to Rig and Sail Small Boats 107 

The Cat-Rig 

so popular on the North Atlantic coast, is indicated in Fig. 148. 
The spar at the head of the sail is called a "gaff,'' and, like the 
boom, it fits the mast with semicircular jaws. The sail is hoisted 
and lowered by means of halyards rove through a block near 
the mast-head. The mast is set in the bows — ''Chock up in the 
eyes of her," as a sailor would say. A single leg-of-mutton sail will 
not work in this position, because the greater part of its area is 
too far forward of amidships. No rig is handier or safer than 
this in working to windward; but off the wind — running before, 
or nearly before it, that is — the weight of mast and sail, and the 
pressure of the wind at one side and far forward, make the boat 
very difficult and dangerous to steer. Prudent boatmen often 
avoid doing so by keeping the wind on the quarter and, as it were, 
tacking to leeward. 

This suggests the question of ''jibing," an operation always 
to be avoided if possible. Suppose the wind to be astern, and the 
boat running nearly before it, it becomes necessary to change 
your course toward the side on which the sail is drawing. The 
safest way is to turn at first in the opposite direction, put the helm 
"down" (toward the sail), bring the boat up into the wind, turn 
her entirely around, and stand off on the new tack. This, how- 
ever, is not always possible. Hauling in the sheet until the sail 
fills on the other side is "jibing"; but when this happens it goes 
over with a rush that sometimes carries mast and sheet or upsets 
the boat; hence the operation should be first undertaken in a light 
wind. It is necessary to know how to do it, for sometimes a sail 
insists upon jibing very unexpectedly, and it is best to be pre- 
pared for such emergencies. 

How to Make a Sail 

For the sails of small boats there is no better material than un- 
bleached twilled cotton sheeting. It is to be had two and a half 
01 even three yards wide. In cutting out your sail, let the selvage 

108 Boat-Building and Boating 

be at the "leech," or after-most edge. This, of course, makes it 
necessary to cut the luff and foot ''bias," and they are very hkely 
to stretch in the making, so that the sail will assume a different 
shape from what was intended. To avoid this, baste the hem 
carefully before sewing, and "hold in" a little to prevent fulling. 
It is a good plan to tack the material on the floor before cutting, 
and mark the outHne of the sail with pencil. Stout tape stitched 
along the bias edges will make a sure thing of it, and the material 
can be cut, making due allowance for the hem. Better take 
feminine advice on this process. The hems should be half an 
inch deep all around, selvage and all, and it will do no harm to 
reinforce them with cord if you wish to make a thoroughly good 
piece of work. 

For running-rigging, nothing is better than laid or braided 
cotton cord, such as is used for awnings and sash-cords. If this 
is not easily procured, any stout twine will answer. It can be 
doubled and twisted as often as necessary. The smallest manila 
rope is rather stiff and unmanageable for such light sails as ours. 

In fitting out a boat of any kind, iron, unless galvanized, is 
to be avoided as much as possible, on account of its liability to 
rust. Use brass or copper instead. 

Hints to Beginners 

Nothing has been said about reefing thus far, because small 
boats under the management of beginners should not be afloat 
in a "reefing breeze." Reefing is the operation of reducing the 
spread of sail when the wind becomes too fresh. If you will look 
at Fig. 146 you will see rows of short marks on the sail above the 
boom. These are "reef-points" — bits of line about a foot long 
passing through holes in the sail and knotted so that they will not 
slip. In reefing, the sail is lowered and that portion of it between 
the boom and the reef-points is gathered together, and the points 
are tied around both it and the boom. When the lower row of points 
is used it is a single reef. Both rows together are a double reef. 

Make your first practical experiment with a small sail and 

How to Rig ajid Sail Sviall Boats 


Fig. 147. — Making port. 

"with the wind blowing toward the shore. Row out a little way, 
and then sail in any direction in which you can make the boat go, 
straight back to shore if you can, with the sail out nearly at right 
angles with the boat. Then try running along shore with the sheet 
hauled in a little and the sail on the side nearest the shore. You 
will soon learn what your craft can do, and will probably find that 
she will make very little, if any, headway to windward. This is 
partly because she slides sidewise over the water. To prevent it 
you may use a ^'lee-board" — ■ 
namely, a broad board hung over 
the side of the boat (G, Fig. 143). 
This must be held by stout lines, 
as the strain upon it is very heavy. 
It should be placed a little for- 
ward of the middle of the boat. 
It must be on the side away from 
the wind — the lee side — and must 
be shifted when you go about. Keels and centreboards are 
permanent contrivances for the same purpose, but a lee-board 
answers very well as a makeshift, and is even used habitually 
by some canoeists and other boatmen. 

In small boats it is sometimes desirable to sit amidships, 
because sitting in the stern raises the bow too high out of water; 
steering may be done with an oar over the lee side, or with "yoke- 
lines" attached to a cross-piece on the rudder-head, or even to the 
tiller. In this last case the lines must be rove through rings or 
pulleys at the sides of the boat opposite the end of the tillen 
When the handle of the oar (H, Fig. 143)— or the tiller (F, Fig. 
146) if a rudder is used — is pushed to the right, the boat will turn 
to the left, and vice versa. The science of steering consists in 
knowing when to push and how much to push — very simple, you 
see, in the statement, but not always so easy in practice. 

The sail should be so adjusted in relation to the rest of the 
boat that, when the sheet is hauled close in and made fast, the 
boat, if left to herself, will point her head to the wind like a 

110 Boat-Building and Boating 


weather-cock and drift slowly astern. If it is found that the 
sail is so far forward that she will not do this, the fault may be 
remedied by stepping the mast further aft or by rigging a small 
sail near the stern. This is called a "dandy" or ''steering sail/' 
and is especially convenient in a boat whose size or arrangement 
necessitates sitting amidships. It may be rigged like the mainsail, 
and when its sheet is once made fast will ordinarily take care of 
itself in tacking. 

Remember that, if the wind freshens or a squall strikes you, 
the position of safety is with the boat's head to the wind. When 
in doubt what to do, push the helm down (toward the sail) and 
haul in the slack of the sheet as the boat comes up into the wind. 
If she is moving astern, or will not mind her helm — and of course 
she will not if she is not moving — pull her head around to the wind 
with an oar and experiment cautiously until you find which way 
you can make her go. 

In making a landing, always calculate to have the boat's 
head as near the wind as possible when she ceases to move; 
this whether you lower your sail or not. 

Thus, if the wind is off shore, as shown at A, Fig. 147, land 
at F or G, with the bow toward the shore. If the wind is from the. 
direction of B, land at E, with the bow toward B or at F; If at the 
latter, the boom will swing away from the wharf and permit you 
to lie alongside. If the wind is from D, reverse these positions. 
If the wind comes from the direction of C, land either at F or G, 
with the bow pointing off shore. 

If you have no one to tell you what to do, you will have to 
feel your way slowly and learn by experience; but if you have 
nautical instincts you will soon make your boat do what you wish 
her to do as far as she is able. But first learn to swim before you 
try to sail a boat. 

Volumes have been written on the subject treated in these few 
pages, and it is not yet exhausted. The hints here given are safe 
ones to follow, and will, it is hoped, be of service to many a young 
sailor in many a corner of the world. 



How to Distinguish between a Ship, Bark, Brig, and Schooner — 
Merits and Defects of Catboats — Advantages of the Sloop — 
Rigs for Canoes — Buckeyes and Sharpies 

The two principal rigs for vessels are the fore-and-aft and the 
square rig. 

Square rigged consists in having the principal sails extended by 
yards suspended at the middle (Fig. 159). 

Fore-and-aft rigged is having the principal sails extended by 
booms and gaffs suspended by their ends (Figs. 148, 149, 150, 
^56, and 161). 

Barks, brigs, and ships are all more or less square rigged, but 
schooners, sloops, and catboats are all fore-and-aft rigged. In 
these notes the larger forms of boats are mentioned only because 
of the well-known interest boys take in all nautical matters, but 
no detailed description of the larger craft will be given. All that 
is aimed at here is to give the salient points, so that the youngsters 
will know the name of the rig when they see it. 

The Cat 

There is a little snub-nosed American who, in spite of her short 
body and broad waist, is deservedly popular among all our 
amateur sailors. 

The appreciation of her charms is felt and acknowledged by 
all her companions without envy, not because of her saucy looks, 
but on account of her accommodating manners. 

Possessing a rare ability for quick movement, and a wonderful 



Boat-Building and Boating 


power to bore her way almost into the very eye of the wind, or 
with double-reefed sail to dash through the storm or gently slide 
up alongside of a wharf or dock as easily as a rowboat, the Ameri- 
can catboat, with her single mast "chock up in the eyes of her," 

Fig. 148.— The snub- 
nosed American cat. 

Fig. 149. — Jib and mainsai 

has made a permanent place for herself among our pleasure craft, 
and is omnipresent in our crowded bays and harbors. 

Knowing that there is little danger of the catboat losing its 
well-earned popularity, and being somewhat familiar with many 
of her peculiarities, I am free to say that this rig, notwithstanding 
its numerous good points, has many serious defects as a school- 

Fig. 150. — Schooner rig for open boat 
Boom on mainsail, none on foresail. 

Fig. 151. — The balance lug. 

ship, and the beginner had better select some other rig with which 
to begin his practice sailing. 

First, the great sail is very heavy and difficult to hoist and reef. 
Second, in going before the wind there is constant danger of jib- 
mg, with serious results. Third, the catboat has a very bad habit 
of rolling when sailing before the wind, and each time the boat 

More Rigs Jor Small Boats 


rolls from side to side she is liable to dip the end of her heavy 
boom in the water and "trip herself up." When a boat trips up 
she does not necessarily go down, but she is likely to upset, placing 
the young sailors in an unenviable, if not a dangerous, position. 
Fourth, when the craft begins to swagger before the wind she is 
liable to "goose-neck"; that is, throw her boom up against the 

Fig. 152.— Standing lug. 

Fig. 153. — Leg-of-mutton sail. 
Jib and main sail rig. 

mast, which is another accident fraught with the possibilities of 
serious mischief. 

The catboat has no bowsprit, no jib, and no topsail (Fig. 148), 
but that most graceful of all single-stickers, 

The Sloop 

possesses several jibs, a bowsprit, and topsail. Besides these, 
when she is in racing trim, a number of additional sails are used. 
All our great racers are sloops, and this rig is the most convenient 
for small yachts and cutters. 

Racing Sloops 

A racing sloop (Fig. 161) carries a mainsail, A, a fore staysail, 
B, a jib, C, a gaff topsail, D, a club topsail, E, a baby jib topsail, 
F, a No. 2 jib topsail, G, a No. i jib topsail, H, a balloon jib top- 
sail, J (Fig. 157), and a spinnaker, K (Fig. 157). 

o ■" 

CO w 


More Rigs for Small Boats 115 

Jib and Mainsail 

A small sloop's sails are a mainsail, jib, and topsail. A sloop 
rig without topsail is called a jib and mainsail (Fig. 149). 

While every small-boat sailor should know a catboat and a 
sloop when he sees them, and even be able to give the proper name 
to their sails, neither of these rigs is very well suited for canoes, 
sharpies, or other boats of the mosquito fleet; but the 

Schooner Rig 

which is the form of boat generally used for the larger yachts, 
is also very much used for open boats. As you can see, by refer- 

Fig. 162.— The buckeye. Fig. 163.— The shding gunter, 

ring to Fig. 150, the schooner rig consists of a bowsprit, fore and 
main mast, with their appropriate sails. Lately freight schooners 
have appeared with four or more masts. For small boats two 
adjustable masts and an adjustable bowsprit, as described in the 
Rough and Ready, Chapter XIII, are best. The sails may be 
sprit sails, Figs. 164-169; balance lug, Fig. 151 ; standing lug, Fig. 
152; leg-of-mutton. Fig. 153, or the sliding gunter, Fig. 163. 

In the chapter on how to build the Rough and Ready, the sprit 
sail is depicted and fully described. 

The Balance Lug 

comes as near the square sail of a ship as any canvas used on 
sm_all boats, but you can see, by referring to the diagram, Fig. 151, 


Boat-Building and Boating 

that the leach and the luff are not parallel and that the gaff hangs 
at an angle. To boom out the canvas and make it sit flat there 
are three sticks extended across the sail from the front to the 
back, luff to leach, called battens. This has caused some people 
to call this a batten lug. Like the lateen sail, part of the balance 

Fig. 164. — Sharpie with sprit and 
club leg-of-mutton sails. 

Fig. 165. Fig. 166. 

Showing detafl of sprit club sail. 

lug hangs before the mast and serves the purpose of a jib. This 
rig is said to be easily managed and to possess good sailing quali- 

The Standing Lug 

is another sail approaching the square in pattern (Fig. 152), and, 
as any novice can see, is a good canvas with which to scud before 
the wind. It is very convenient for open boats built to be pro- 
pelled by paddles. While the standing lug cannot point up to the 
eye of the wind like a schooner or cat, it is very fast on the wind 
or when running with the wind astern. Probably the safest form 
of sail used is the old reliable 

Leg-of-Mutton Sail 

This is used by the fishermen on their stanch little dories away 
up on the coast of Maine, and by the "tide-water" people in their 
"buckeyes" on Chesapeake Bay. The latter boat is very little 
known outside of the locality where it makes its home, but, like 
the New Haven sharpies, it is very popular in its own waters. 

More Rigs for Small Boats 


The Buckeye 

or *' bugeye," as it is sometimes vulgarly called, has a great rep- 
utation for speed and sea-going qualities. When it cannot climb 
a wave it goes through it. This makes a wet boat in heavy 
weather, but when you travel at a high rate of speed you can en= 
dure a wet jacket with no complaint, especially when you feel 


Fig. 167.— Plain sprit 

Fig. 168. Fig. 169. 

Another form of the sprit sail. 

that, in spite of the fast-sailing qualities of this boat, it is con- 
sidered a particularly safe craft. 

The construction of a buckeye (Fig. 162) has been evolved from 
the old dugout canoe of the Indians and the first white settlers. 
America was originally covered with vast forests of immense trees. 
Remnants of these forests still exist in a few localities. It was 
once possible to make a canoe of almost any dimensions desired, 
but now in the thickly settled regions big trees are scarce. 

So the Chesapeake Bay boat-builders, while still adhering to the 
old dugout, have overcome the disadvantage of small logs by 
using more than one and bolting the pieces together. Masts and 
sails have been added, and since the increased proportions made 
it impracticable to drag such a craft on the beach when in port, 
anchors and cables are supplied. Two holes bored, one on each 
side of the stem, for the cables to run through, have given the 
boat the appearance of having eyes, and as the eyes ar^ large and 
round, the negroes called them buckeyes, and this is now the 
name by which all such craft are known. 


Boat- Building and Boating 

At first only two masts with leg-of-mutton sails were used, but 
now they have a jib and two sails. With the greatest width or 
beam about one-third the distance from bow to stern, sharp at 
both ends, its long, narrow, and heavy hull is easily driven through 
the water and makes both a fast and stiff boat. 

The buckeye travels in shallow as well as deep waters, and 
hence is a centreboard boat, but there is nothing unnecessary on 
the real buckeye — no overhanging bow or stern, for that means 

Fig. 170. — Lug rig with jigger. 

Fig. 171. — Lug rig with jigger and jib. 

additional labor; no stays to the masts, for the same reason. The 
lack of stays to stiffen the masts leaves them with "springiness," 
which in case of a sudden squall helps to spill the wind and pre- 
vents what might otherwise be a '' knock-down." 

The foremast is longer than the mainmast and does not rake 
aft so much, but the mainmast has a decided rake, which the col- 
ored sailors say makes the boat faster on the wind. Sometimes 
in the smaller boats the mainmast can be set upright when going 
before the wind. 

Wealthy gentlemen on the Chesapeake are now building reg- 
ularly equipped yachts on the buckeye plan, and some of them 
are quite large boats. A correspondent of the Forest and Stream^ 
in speaking of the buckeye, says; 

"Last summer I cruised in company with a buckeye, forty-two 
feet long, manned by two gentlemen of Baltimore city. She drew 
twenty inches without the board. In sudden and heavy flaws she 
was rarely luffed. She would lie over and appear to spill the wind 

More Rigs for Small Boats 


otit of her tall, sharp sails and then right again. Her crew took 
pleasure in tackling every sailing craft for a race; nothing under 
seventy feet in length ever beat her. She steered under any two 
of her three sails. On one occasion this craft, on her way from 
Cape May to Cape Charles, was driven out to sea before a heavy 
north-west blow. Her crew, the aforesaid gentlemen, worn out by 
fatigue, hove her to and went to sleep. She broke her tiller lash- 
ing during the night, and when they awoke she was pegging away 

Fig. 172— Jib. 

Fig. 173. — Sprit sail, schooner rig, with dandy. 

on a south-east course under her jib. They put her about, and in 
twenty hours were inside Cape Henry, pretty well tired out. Buck- 
eyes frequently run from Norfolk to New York with fruit. For 
shallow waters, I am satisfied there is no better craft afloat. 
Built deep, with a loaded keel, they would rival the English cutter 
in seaworthiness and speed." 

When the hardy, bold fishermen of our Eastern States and the 
brave fishermen down South both use the leg-of-mutton sail, 
beginners cannot object to using it while practising; knowing that 
even if it is a safe sail, it cannot be called a "baby rig." Another 
safe rig, differing little from the leg-of-mutton, is the 

Sliding Gunter 

In this rig the sail is laced to a yard which slides up or down 
the mast by means of two iron hooks or travellers (Fig. 163). No 
sail with a narrow-pointed top is very serviceable before the wind, 
and the sliding gunter is no exception to the rule. But it is useful 
on the wind, and can be reefed easily and quickly, qualities which 
make it many friends. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

In the smooth, shallow waters along the coast of North Carolina 
may be seen the long, flat-bottomed 


Without question they are to be ranked among the fastest boats 
we have. These boats are rigged with a modification of the leg- 
of-mutton sail. The ends of the sprit in the foresail project at the 

Fig. 174.— Sprit sail jib and dandy. Fig. 175.— The lateen rig with dandy. 

luff and leach. At the luff it is fastened to the mast by a line like 
a snotter at the leach. It is fastened to a stick sewed into the sail, 
called a club. The sheet is attached to the end of the sprit 
(Figs. 164-168). 

The Sprit Leg-of-Mutton Sail 

has this advantage, that the clew of the sail is much higher than 
the tack, thus avoiding the danger of dipping the clew in the water 
and tripping the boat. 

The Dandy Jigger, or Mizzen Rig 

is named after the small sail aft, near the rudder-head. This 
jigger, mizzen, or dandy may have a boom, a sprit, or be rigged 
as a lug. (See Figs. 170, 171, 173, 174, 175, 178, 180, and 184, 
which show the principal mizzen rigs in use.) 

In puffy wind and lumpy water the main and mizzen rig will 
be found to work well. The little sail aft should be trimmed as 
flat as possible. It will be found of great help in beating to the 
windward, and will keep the nose of the boat facing the wind 

rig. 176. 

Fig. 177. 

Fig. 18a 

Tig. 181. 

Fig. 182. 

Fig. 178. . FJg- 183. 

FSC 179. F»g- 184- 

Figs. 176-184.— Hybrid rigi for small boats; also two useful tackles. 


122 Boat-Building and Boating 

when tlie mainsail is down. Different rigs are popular in different 
localities. For instance: 

The Lateen Rig 

is very popular in some parts of the Old World, yet it has only 
few friends here. It may be because of my art training that I feel 
so kindly toward this style of sail, or it may be from association in 
my mind of some of the happiest days of my hfe with a httle black 
canoe rigged with lateen sails. At any rate, in spite of the un- 
deniable fact that the lateen is unpopular, I never see a small boat 
rigged in this style without a feeling of pleasure. The handy little 
stumps of masts end in a spike at the top and are adorned by 
the beautiful sails lashed to slender spars, which, by means of 
metal rings, are lightly, but securely, fastened to the mast by 
simply hooking the ring over the spike. I freely acknowledge that 
when the sails are lowered and you want to use your paddle the 
lateen sails are in your way. It is claimed that they are awkward 
to reef, and this may be true. I never tried it. When the wind 
was too strong for my sails I made port or took in either the large 
or the small sail, as the occasion seemed to demand. 

The Ship 

When you are out sailing and see a vessel with three masts, all 
square rigged, you are looking at a ship proper, though ship is a 
word often used loosely for any sort of a boat (Fig. 159). 

The bark is a vessel with square-rigged foremast and mainmast 
and a fore-and-aft rigged mizzen-mast (Fig. 160). 

The brig is a vessel with only two masts, both of which are 
square rigged (Fig. 158). 

The brigantine has two masts — foremast square rigged and 
mainmast fore-and-aft rigged (Fig. 155). 

The barkentine has three masts — mainmast and mizzen-mast 
fore-and-aft rigged and foremast square rigged. (See Fig. 154.) 


How to Tie Knots Useful on Both Land and Water 

The art of tying knots is an almost necessary adjunct to not a 
few recreations. Especially is this true of summer sports, many 
of which are nautical or in some manner connected with the water. 

Any boy who has been aboard a yacht or a sail-boat must have 
realized that the safety of the vessel and all aboard may be im- 
perilled by ignorance or negligence in the tying of a knot or fasten- 
ing of a rope. 

With some the knack of tying a good, strong knot in a heavy 
rope or light cord seems to be a natural gift; it is certainly a very 
convenient accomplishment, and one that with practice and a 
little perseverance may be acquired even by those who at first 
make the most awkward and bungling attempts. 

A bulky, cumbersome knot is not only ungainly, but is generally 

As a rule, the strength of a knot is in direct proportion to its neat 
and handsome appearance. 

To my mind it is as necessary that the archer should know how 
to make the proper loops at the end of his bow-string as it is that 
a hunter should understand how to load his gun. 

Every fisherman should be able to join two lines neatly and se- 
curely, and should know the best and most expeditious method 
of attaching an extra hook or fly; and any boy who rigs up a ham- 
mock or swing with a "granny" or other insecure knot deserves 
the ugly tumble and sore bones that are more than liable to result 
{rom his ignorance. 


124 Boat-Building and Boaiing 

A knot, nautically speaking, is a ''bend" that is more per- 
manent than a "hitch." A knot properly tied never shps, nor 
does it jam so that it cannot be readily untied. A '' hitch " might 
be termed a temporary bend, as it is seldom relied upon for per- 
manent service. The "hitch" is so made that it can be cast off 
or unfastened more quickly than a knot. 

It is impossible for the brightest boy to learn to make ' ' knots, 
bends, and hitches" by simply reading over a description of the 
methods; for, although he may understand them at the time, 
five minutes after reading the article the process will have escaped 
his memory. But if he take a piece of cord or rope and sit down 
with the diagrams in front of him, he will find httle difficulty in 
managing the most complicated knots; and he will not only ac- 
quire an accomphshment from which he can derive infinite amuse- 
ment for himself and a means of entertainment for others, but the 
knowledge gained may, in case of accident by fire or flood, be the 
means of saving both life and property. 

The accompanying diagrams show a number of useful and 
important bends, splices, etc. To simplify matters, let us com- 
mence with Fig. 57, and go through the diagrams in the order in 
which they come: 

The "Enghsh" or "common single fisherman's knot" (Fig, 
185, I) is neat and strong enough for any ordinary strain. The 
diagram shows the knots before being tightened and drawn to- 

When exceptional strength is required it can be obtained by 
joining the lines in the ordinary single fisherman's knot (Fig. 185, 1) 
and pulling each of the half knots as tight as possible, then draw- 
ing them within an eighth of an inch of each other and wrapping 
between with fine gut that has been previously softened in water, 
or with light-colored silk. 

An additional line or a sinker may be attached by tying a knot 
in the end of the extra line and inserting it between the parts of 
the single fisherman's knot before they are drawn together and 

Knots, Bends, and Hitches 


Fig. 185. — Some useful knots. 

The "fisherman's double half knot/' Fig. 185 (II and III). 
After the gut has been passed j.round the main line and through 
itself, it is passed around the lim^ once more and through the same 
loop again and drawn close. 

126 Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. 185 (IV, V, and IX). Here are three methods of join- 
ing the ends of two lines together; the diagrams explain them 
much better than words can. Take a piece of string, try each 
one, and test their relative strength. 

Fig. 185 (VI). It often happens, while fishing, that a hook is 
caught in a snag or by some other means lost. The diagram 
shows the most expeditious manner of attaching another hook 
by what is known as the "sinker hitch," described further on 
(Fig. 185, D, D, D, and Fig. 186, XIV, XV, and XVI). 

Fig. 185, VII is another and more secure method of attaching 
a hook by knitting the line on with a succession of half-hitches. 

How to Make a Horse-Hair Watch-Guard 

The same hitches are used in the manufacture of horse-haii 
watch-guards, much in vogue with the boys in some sections ol' 
the country. As regularly as *' kite-time," "top-time," or "ball- 
time," comes "horse-hair watch-guard time." 

About once a year the rage for making watch-guards used to 
seize the boys of our school, and by some means or other almost 
every boy would have a supply of horse-hair on hand. With the 
first tap of the bell for recess, some fifty hands would dive into 
the mysterious depths of about fifty pockets, and before the bell 
had stopped ringing about fifty watch-guards, in a more or less in- 
complete state, would be produced. 

Whenever a teamster's unlucky stars caused him to stop near 
the school-house, a chorus of voices greeted him with "Mister, 
please let us have some hair from your horses' tails." 

The request was at first seldom refused, possibly because its 
nature was not at the time properly understood; but lucky was 
the boy considered who succeeded in pulling a supply of hair 
from the horses' tails without being interrupted by the heels of 
the animals or by the teamster, who, when he saw the swarm of 
boys tugging at his horses' tails, generally repented his first good- 
natured assent, and with a gruff, "Get out, you young rascals!" 
sent the lads scampering to the school-yard fence. 

Knots, Bends, and Hitches 127 

Select a lot of long hair of the color desired; make it into a 
switch about an eighth of an inch thick by tying one end in a 
simple knot. Pick out a good, long hair and tie it around the 
switch close to the knotted end; then take the free end of the single 
hair in your right hand and pass it under the switch on one side, 
thus forming a loop through which the end of the hair must pass 
after it is brought up and over from the other side of the switch. 
Draw the knot tight by pulling the free end of the hair as shown 
by Fig. 185, VII. Every time this operation is repeated a wrap 
and a knot is produced. The knots follow each other in a spiral 
around the switch, giving it a very pretty, ornamented appearance. 
When one hair is used up select another and commence knitting 
with it as you did with the first, being careful to cover and conceal 
the short end of the first hair, and to make the knots on the sec- 
ond commence where the former stop. A guard made of white 
horse-hair looks as if it might be composed of spun glass, and pro- 
duces a very odd and pretty effect. A black one is very genteel 
in appearance. These ornamxcnts are much prized by cow- 
boys, and I have seen bridles for horses made of braided horse- 


Fig. 185, VIII shows a simple and expeditous manner of at- 
taching a trolling-hook to a fish-line. 

Fig. 185, F is a hitch used on shipboard, or wherever lines 
and cables are used. It is called the Blackwall hitch. 

Fig. 185, E is a fire-escape made of a double bow-line knot, 
useful as a sling for hoisting persons up or letting them down from 
any high place; the window of a burning building, for instance. 
Fig. 186, XVIII, XIX, and XX show how this knot is made. It 
is described on page 77. 

Fig. 185, A is a '' bale hitch," made of a loop of rope. To make 
it, take a piece of rope that has its two ends joined; lay the rope 
down and place the bale on it; bring the loop opposite you up, on 
that side of the bale, and the loop in front up, on the side of the 

128 Boat-Building and Boating 

bale next to you; thrust the latter loop under and through the first 
and attach the hoisting rope. The heavier the object to be lifted, 
the tighter the hitch becomes. An excellent substitute for a shawl- 
strap can be made of a cord by using the bale hitch, the loop at 
the top being a first-rate handle. 

Fig. 185, B is called a cask shng, and C (Fig. 185) is called a 
butt sling. The manner of making these last two and their uses 
may be seen by referring to the illustration. It will be noticed 
that a line is attached to the bale hitch in a peculiar manner 
(a, Fig. 185). This is called the ''anchor bend.'* If while 
aboard a sail-boat you have occasion to throw a bucket over for 
water, you will find the anchor bend a very convenient and safe 
way to attach a line to the bucket handle, but unless you are an 
expert you will need an anchor hitched to your body or you will 
follow the bucket. 

Fig. 186, I and II are loops showing the elements of the sim- 
plest knots. 

Fig. 186, III is a simple knot commenced. 

Fig. 186, IV shows the simple knot tightened. 

Fig. 186, V and VI show how the Flemish knot looks when 
commenced and finished. 

Fig. 186, VII and VIII show a ''rope knot" commenced and 

Fig. 186, IX is a double knot commenced. 

Fig. 186, X is the same completed. 

Fig. 186, XI shows a back view of the double knot. 

Fig. 186, XII is the first loop of a "bow-Hne knot." One end 
of the line is supposed to be made fast to some object. After the 
turn, or loop (Fig. 186, XII), is made, hold it in position with your 
left hand and pass the end of the line up through the loop, or turn, 
you have just made, behind and over the line above, then down 
through the loop again, as shown in the diagram (Fig. 186, XIII); 
pull it tight and the knot is complete. The "sinker hitch" is a 
very handy one to know, and the variety of uses it may be put to 
will be at once suggested by the diagrams. 

1 H HI XV 

Fig. 1S6. 

130 Boat-Building and Boating 

Lines that have both ends made fast may have weights attached 
to them by means of the sinker hitch (Fig. 185, D, D, D). 

To accomphsh this, first gather up some slack and make it in 
the form of the loop (Fig. 186, XIV) ; bend the loop back on itself 
(Fig. 186, XV) and slip the weight through the double loop thus 
formed (Fig. 186, XVI); draw tight by pulling the two top lines, 
and the sinker hitch is finished (Fig. 186, XVII). 

The ''fire-escape sling" previously mentioned, and illustrated 
by Fig. 185, E, is made with a double line. 

Proceed at first as you would to make a simple bow-line knoV 
(Fig. 186, XVIII). 

After you have run the end loop up through the turn (Fig. 186, 
XIX), bend it downward and over the bottom loop and turn, then 
up again until it is in the position shown in Fig. 186, XX; pull it 
downward until the knot is tightened, as in Fig. 185, E, and it 
makes a safe sling in which to lower a person from any height 
The longer loop serves for a seat, and the shorter one, coming 
under the arms, makes a rest for the back. 

Fig. i86i, XXI is called a ''boat knot," and is made with the 
aid of a stick. It is an excellent knot for holding weights which 
may want instant detachment. To detach it, lift the weight 
slightly and push out the stick, and instantly the knot is untied. 

Fig. 186J, XXII. Commencement of a "six-fold knot." 

Fig. 1 86 J, XXIII. Six-fold knot completed by drawing the 
two ends with equal force. A knot drawn in this manner is said 
to be "nipped." 

Fig. i86-i, XXIV. A simple hitch or "double" used in making 
loop knots. 

Fig. 186I, XXV. "Loop knot." 

Fig. 186J, XXVI shows how the loop knot is commenced. 

Fig. 186J, XXVII is the " Dutch double knot," sometimes called 
the "Flemish loop." 

Fig. 186 J, XXVIII shows a common "running knot." 

Fig. 186J, XXIX. A running knot with a check knot to hold. 

Fig. 186J, XXX. A running knot checked. 

Fig. 186i. 

132 Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. 1 86 J, XXXI. The right-hand part of the rope shows how 
to make the double loop for the "twist knot." The left-hand 
part of the same rope shows a finished twist knot. It is made 
by taking a half turn on both the right-hand and left-hand lines 
of the double loop and passing the end through the "bight" 
(loop) so made. 


Fig. i86i, XXXII is called the "chain knot," which is often 
used in braiding leather whiplashes. To make a "chain knot," 
fasten one end of the thong, or line; make a simple loop and pass 
it over the left hand; retain hold of the free end with the right 
hand; with the left hand seize the line above the right hand and 
draw a loop through the loop already formed; finish the knot by 
drawing it tight with the left hand. Repeat the operation until the 
braid is of the required length, then secure it by passing the free 
end through the last loop. 

Fig. 1 86 J, XXXIII shows a double chain knot. 

Fig. i86J, XXXIV is a double chain knot pulled out. It shows 
how the free end is thrust through the last loop. 

Fig. 1 86 J, XXXV. Knotted loop for end of rope, used to pre- 
vent the end of the rope from slipping, and for various other 

Splices, Timber-Hitches, etc. 

Although splices may not be as useful to boys as knots and 
hitches, for the benefit of those among my readers who are in- 
terested in the subject, I have introduced a few bands and spHces 
on the cables partly surrounding Fig. i86^. 

Fig. i86|, a shows the knot and upper side of a "simple band." 

Fig. i86J, h shows under side of the same. 

Fig. i86J, c and d show a tie with cross-ends. To hold the ends 
of the cords, a turn is taken under the strands. ' 

134 Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. i86J, e and/; Bend with cross-strands, one end looped 
over the other. 

Fig. i86J, g shows the upper side of the ''necklace tie.'" 

Fig. i86i, h shows the under side of the same. The advantage 
of this tie is that the greater the strain on the cords, the tighter 
it draws the knot. 

Fig. i86J, i and j are slight modifications of g and h. 

Fig. i86J, p shows the first position of the end of the ropes for 
making the splice k. Untwist the strands and put the ends of two 
ropes together as close as possible, and place the strands of the one 
between the strands of the other alternately, so as to interlace, as 
in k. This splice should only be used when there is not time to 
make the "long splice," as the short one is not very strong. 

From / to w is a long splice, made by underlaying the strands 
of each of the ropes joined about half the length of the splice, and 
putting each strand of the one between two of the other; q shows 
the strands arranged for the long splice. 

Fig. i86J, w is a simple mode of making a hitch on a rope. 

Fig. i86J, ^ is a ''shroud knot." 

Fig. i86J, r shows a very convenient way to make a handle on 
a rope, and is used upon large ropes when it is necessary for 
several persons to take hold to pull. 

Fig. 187, A. Combination of half-hitch and timber-hitch. 

Fig. 187, B. Ordinary half-hitch. 

Fig. 187, C. Ordinary timber-hitch. 

Fig. 187, D. Another timber-hitch, called the "clove-hitch." 

Fig. 187, E. "Hammock-hitch," used for binding bales of 
goods or cloth. 

Fig. 187, F. "Lark-head knot," used by sailors and boatmen 
for mooring their crafts. 

Fig. 187, P shows a lark-head fastening to a running knoto 

Fig. 187, G is a double-looped lark-head. 

Fig. 187, H shows a double-looped lark-head knot fastened to 
the ring of a boat. • 

Fig. 187, 1 is a "treble lark-head." To make it you must first 


136 Boat-Building and Boating 

tie a single lark-head, then divide the two heads and use each 
singly, as shown in the diagram. 

Fig. 187, J shows a simple boat knot with one turn. 

Fig. 187, K. *' Crossed running knot." It is a strong and 
handy tie, not as difficult to make as it appears to be. 

Fig. 187, L is the bow-line knot, described by the diagrams 
XII and XIII (Fig. 186). The free end of the knot is made fast 
b}' binding it to the "bight," or the loop. It makes a secure sling 
for a man to sit in at his work among the rigging. 

Fig. 187, M, N, and O. "Slip chnches," or "sailors' knots." 

Fig. 187J, Q shows a rope fastened by the chain-hitch. The 
knot at the left-hand end explains a simple way to prevent a rope 
from unravelling. 

Fig. 187 J, R. A timber-hitch; when tightened the line binds 
around the timber so that it will not slip. 

Fig. 187^, S. Commencement of simple lashing knot. 

Fig. 187J, T. Simple lashing knot finished. 

Fig. 187-I, U. "Infallible loop;" not properly a timber-hitch, 
but useful in a variety of ways, and well adapted for use in archery. 

Fig. 187 J, V. Same as R, reversed. It looks like it might give 
way under a heavy strain, but it will not. 

Fig. 187J, W. Running knot with two ends. 

Fig. 187J, X. Running knot with a check knot that can only 
be opened with a marline-spike. 

Fig. 187J, Y. A two-ended running knot with a check to the 
running loops. This knot can be untied by drawing both ends 
of the cord. 

Fig. 187^, Z. Running knot with two ends, fixed by a double 
Flemish knot. When you wish to encircle a timber with this 
tie, pass the ends on which the check knot is to be through the 
cords before they are drawn tight. This w^ill require considerable 

Fig. 1874, a shows an ordinary twist knot. 

Fig. 187^, a^ shows the form of loop for builder's knot. 

Fig. 187^, b. Double twist knot. 

Knots, Bends, and Hitches 137 

Fig. 187J, c. Builder's knot finished. 

Fig. 187 1, d represents a double builder's knot. 

Fig. 187 J, e. *' Weaver's knot," same as described under the 
head of Becket hitch (Fig. 185, V). 

Fig. 187^, /. Weaver's knot drawn tight. 

Fig. 187J, g shows how to commence a reef knot. This is 
useful for small ropes; with ropes unequal in size the knot is 
likely to draw out of shape, as m. 

Fig. 187J, h shows a reef knot completed. 

Of all knots, avoid the "granny"; it is next to useless under a 
strain, and marks the tier as a ''landlubber." 

Fig. 187^, i shows a granny knot; n shows a granny under strain. 

Fig. 187^, j shows the commencement of a common ''rough 

Fig. 187^, k. The front view of finished knot. 

Fig. 187^, /. The back view of finished knot. Although this 
knot will not untie nor slip, the rope is likely to part at one side 
if the strain is great. Awkward as it looks, this tie is very useful 
at times on account of the rapidity with which it can be made. 

Fig. 187J, o and p. Knot commenced and finished, used for 
the same purposes as the Flemish knot. 

Fig. 187 J, q and q^. An ordinary knot with ends used separately. 

Fig. 187J, s. Sheep-shank, or dog-shank as it is sometimes 
called, is very useful in shortening a line. Suppose, for instance, 
a swing is much longer than necessary, and you wish to shorten 
it without climbing aloft to do so, it can be done with a sheep- 

Fig. 187 J, f shows the first position of the two loops. Take two 
half hitches, and you have a bend of the form shown by s. Pull 
tightly from above and below the shank, and you will find that 
the rope is shortened securely enough for ordinary strain. 

Fig. 187 J, /. Shortening by loop and turns made where the end 
of the rope is free. 

Fig. 187 J, w. A shortened knot that can be used when either 
end is free. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. 187^, V, w, and x. Shortening knots. 

Fig. 187^, y and z. A " true lover's knot," and the last one that 
you need to practise on, for one of these knots is as much as most 
persons can attend to, and ought to last a lifetime. 


The Yankee Pine 

From the saw-mills away up among the tributaries of the Ohio 
River come floating down to the towns along the shore great 
rafts of pine lumber. These rafts are always objects of interest 
to the boys, for the youngsters know that when moored to the 
shore the solidly packed planks make a splendid platform to 
swim from. Fine springing-boards can be made of the project- 
ing blades of the gigantic sweeps which are used to guide the 
mammoth rafts, and, somewhere aboard, there is always to be 
found a "Yankee pine." Just when or why this style of skiff 
was dubbed with such a peculiar name I am unable to state; 
but this I know, that when a raft is to be broken up and carted 
away to the lumber yards there is, or always used to be, a good, 
light skiff to be had cheap. 

However, all boys do not live on the bank of the river, and if 
they did there would hardly be "Yankee pines'' enough to go 
round; so we will at once proceed to see how to build one for our- 
selves. Although my readers may find the " Yankee pine " a little 
more difficult to build than the blunt-ended, flat-bottomed scow, 
it really is a comparatively simple piece of work for boys familiar 
with the use of carpenters' tools. 

For the side-pieces select two straight-grained pine boards free 
from knots. These boards should be about 13 or 14 feet long, 
a couple of inches over a foot in width, and as nearly alike as 
possible in texture. Besides these there should be in the neigh- 
borhood of a dozen other |-inch planks, an inch or two over a half 


140 Boat-Building and Boating 

foot in width. A small piece of 2-inch plank for the stern-piece is 
also necessary. Upon the bottom edge of the side-board measure 
off from each end toward the centre 4 inches, mark the points, and 
saw off the corners shown by the dotted line in Fig. 188. Next 


Fig. 188.— Side-board. 

take a piece of board 4 feet long and a foot wide, saw off the cor- 
ners as you did on the side-board, making it 4 feet on the top and 
3 feet 4 inches on the bottom. This board is to be used only as 
a centre brace while modelling the boat. 

Out of the 2-inch plank make a stern-piece of the same shape 
as the centre brace; let it be i foot wide, 14 inches long on the 
bottom, and 20 inches long on top. Set the side-boards on their 
shorter or bottom edges and place the centre brace in the middle, 
as shown by Fig. 189; nail the side-boards to it, using only enough 
nails to hold temporarily. Draw the side-boards together at the 
bow and against the stern-board at the stern (Fig. 189). Hold the 
side-pieces in position by the means of ropes. A stem should be 
ready to fix in the bow (Fig. 190). This had better be a few inches 

Fig. 189.— Frame. 

longer than the sides are broad, as it is a simple matter to saw off 
the top after it is fitted. Make the stem of a triangular piece of 
timber, by planing off the front edge until a flat surface about 
i inch broad is obtained; 2 inches from the front, upon each side, 
cut a groove just the thickness of the side-boards (| inch). Trim 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 


the stem so that the side-pieces at the bow fit the grooves snugly, 
and nail the side-boards to the stem and to the stern-piece (Fig. 

Turn the boat upside down, and it will be discovered that the 
outlines of the bottom form an arch from stem to stern. If left 
in this shape the boat will sink 

too deep amidship. Remedy J^ ^^ — '^^:^'^¥:^zr~ S 

the defect by planing the bot- % ^| \ 

tom edge of both sicie pieces, pig. igo.-stem-piece. 

reducing the convex form to 

straight hnes in the middle. This will allow the bow and stern 
to sheer, but at the same time will make the central part of 
the bottom flat, and, by having less to drag through the water, 
make it easier to row. Nail the bottom-boards on crosswise, 
and as, on account of the form of the boat, no two boards will be 
of the same size, they must be first nailed on and the projecting 
ends sawed off afterward. The centre brace may now be taken 
out and a long bottom-board nailed to the centre of the bottom 
upon the inside of the boat (Fig. 191). Cut a small cross-piece 


Fig. 191.— Finished skiflf. 

(B, Fig. 191) SO that it will fit across the bow 3 inches below the 
top of the side-boards. Nail it in place, driving the nails from the 
outside of the side-board through and into the end of the stick B. 
Saw out a bow seat, and, allowing the broad end to rest on the 
cross-stick B, fit the seat in and secure it with nails (Fig. 191); 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Fig. 192.— Keel board or skeg. 

3 inches below the top of the stern-piece nail a cleat across. At 
the same distance below the side-board put a cross-stick similar 
to the one in the bow. This and the cleat on the stern-piece form 
rests for the stern seat. Five feet from the stern saw a notch 

2 inches deep and ij inch long in 
each side-board (A, A^ Fig. 191). 
Saw two more notches of the same 
size 3 inches from the first; these 
will make the rowlock when the 
side strips have been fastened on. 
These strips should each be made of i-inch plank, 2 inches 
wide and an inch or two longer than the side-boards. Nail the 
strips on the outside of the boat flush with the top of the side- 
boards, making a neat joint at the stern-piece ,as shown in the il- 
lustration (Fig. 191). Cut two short strips to fit upon the inside at 
the rowlocks and fasten them firmly on with screws (Fig. 191, A). 
Next cut two cleats for the oarsman's seat to rest upon. Nail 
them to the side-boards amidship a little nearer the bottom than 
the top, so that the seat, when resting upon the cleats, will be 
about half the distance from the top edge to the bottom of the 
side-boards. Let the aft end of the cleats be about 6 feet 2 inches 
from the stern. Make thole-pins of some hard wood to fit in the 
rowlocks, like those de- 
scribed and illustrated 
by Figs. 203 and 204. 

The Yankee pine now 
only needs a skeg to 
complete it. This must 
be placed exactly in the 
centre, and is fastened 
on by a couple of screws at the thin end and nails from the in- 
side of the boat. It is also fastened to the upright stick at the 
stem by screws (Fig. 192). 

If the joints have been carefully made, your Yankee pine is 
now ready for launching. Being made of rough lumber it needs 

Top view of " Man Friday." 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 


no paint or varnish, but is a sort of rough-and-ready affair, light 
to row; and it ought to float four people with ease. By using 
planed pine or cedar lumber, and 
with hard-wood stem and stern, 
a very pretty row-boat can be 
made upon the same plan as a 
Yankee pine, or by putting in 
a centreboard and "stepping" a 
mast in the bow, the Yankee 
pine can be transformed into a 
sail-boat. But before experiment- 
ing in this line of boat-building, 
the beginner had better read 
carefully the chapter on how to 
rig and sail small boats. 

How to Build a Better Finished 

The old-time raftsmen for- 
merly built their" Yankee pines" 
of the rough, unplaned boards 
fresh from the saw-mills on the 
river banks, and these raw, 
wooden skiffs were stanch, light, 
and tight boats, but to-day ^ 
smooth lumber is as cheap as 
the rough boards, so select 
enough planed pine lumber for 
a i2i-foot boat, and you may 

calculate the exact amount by reference to the accompanying 
diagrams, which are all drawn as near as may be to a regular 

By reference Xo Fig. ^93 you will see that A, A represent 
the two 

Fig. 193.— The side-boards. 


Boat-Building and Boating 

Side -Boards 

These should be of sufficient dimensions to produce two side- 
pieces each 13 feet long, 17 inches wide, and | inch thick (A, Fig. 
194). You will also need a piece for a 


54 inches long, 18 inches wide, and about ij inch thick, but 
as this is a temporary affair almost any old piece of proper dimen- 
sions will answer (B, Fig. 194), and another piece of good ij-inch 
plank (C, Fig. 194) 36 inches long by 15 inches wide, for a stern- 

Fig. 194. — A, the side. B, the spreader. C, the stem-piece. 

piece. Besides the above there must be enough i-inch lumber to 
make seats and to cover the bottom. At a point on one end, 
6 J inches from the edge of the A plank, mark the point c (Fig. 194), 
then measure 37 inches back along the edge of the plank and mark 
the point h (Fig. 194). Rule a pencil line (5, c) between these two 
points and starting at c saw off the triangle 6, c, d. Make the sec- 
ond side-board an exact duplicate of the one just described and 
prepare the spreader by sawing off the triangle with 9-inch bases 
at each end of B (Fig. 194). This will leave you a board {h, k, 0, n) 
that will be 36 inches long on its lower edge and 54 inches long on 
its top edge. 
Next saw off the corners of the stern-piece C (Fig. 194) alorg 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 


the lines/, g, the g points being each 6i inches from the comers; 
and a board (/*, gg) i8 inches wide and 30 inches top measure- 
ment, with 23 inches at the bottom. Now fit the edge of the 
stern-piece along the line e, d (Fig. 194), or at a slant to please your 
I fancy. In Fig. 195, upper C, the slant makes the base of the 
triangle about 4J inches, which is sufficient. Be careful that both 

Fig. 195.— Details of the boat. 

side-boards are fitted exactly alike, and to do this nail the port 
side with nails driven only partly in, as shown at D (Fig. 195); 
then nail the starboard side and, if they are both seen to be even 
^nd of the right slant, drive the nails home; if not correct, the 
nails may be pulled out by using a small block under the hammer 
(D, Fig. 195), without bending the nails or injuring the wood. 
Leave the stern-ends of the side-boards protruding, as in the 
upper C, until you have the spreader and stem in place. 

We are now ready for the spreader (hj k, 0, n) (B, Fig. 194) 
amidship, or, more accurately speaking, 6 feet 9 inches from 
the bow (B, Fig. 195). Nail this as shown by D (Fig. 195), so 
that the nails may be removed at pleasure. Bring the bow ends 
of the A boards together and secure them by a strip nailed tem- 
porarily across, as shown in the diagram E (Fig. 195). 


Boat-Building and Boating 

The Stem-piece 

may be made of two pieces, as is shown at G and F (Fig. 195), 
or if you are more skilful than the ordinary non-professional, the 
stem may be made of one piece, as shown by the lower diagram 
at F (Fig. 195). It is desirable to have oak for the stem, but any 

Fig. 196. — Put on a bottom of l-inch boards. 

hard wood will answer the purpose, and even pine may be used 
when no better is to be had. Take a piece of cardboard or an old 
shingle on which to draw a pattern for the end of the stem and 
make the outhne with a lead-pencil by placing the shingle over 
the apex c of diagram E (Fig. 195); from the inside trace the line 
of the sides thus, V. Trim your stem down to correspond to these 
lines and let the stick be somewhat longer than the width of the 
sides A, A. 

When this is done to your satisfaction, fit the stem in place and 
nail the side boards to the stem. 

Turn the boat over and nail on a bottom of i-inch boards as 
shown by Fig. 196. 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 



use tongue and grooved or any sort of fancy cabinet or floor join- 
ing when wet — such matched lumber warps up in waves — but 
use boards with smooth, flat edges; if these are true and fitted 
snugly together in workmanlike manner the first wetting will swell 
them in a very short time, until not a drop of water will leak 

Fig. 197. — Details of bow, stern, seats, and finished boat. 

through the cracks, for the reason that there will be none. Fit 
the bottom-boards on regardless of their protruding ends, as these 
may be sawed off after the boards are nailed in place. 

The Seats 

consist of a triangular one at the bow (J), the oarsman's seat 
(L), and the stern seat (K, Fig. 197). The bow seat is made of 
i-inch boards nailed to two cleats shown at M (Fig. 197). N 
shows the bench for the stern seat and O explains the arrangement 
of the oarsman's seat a little forward amidship. As may be 
seen, it rests upon the cleats x (diagram O, Fig. 197), which are 
fitted between two upright cleats on each side of the boat; this 
makes a seat which will not slip out of place, and the cleats serve 
I0 strengthen the sides of the otherwise ribless boat. Make the 
cleats of I by 2 inch lumber and let the seat be about 12 inches 
wide. The stern seat may be wider, i§ feet at K and 4 or 5 inches 


Boat-Building and Boating 

more at the long sides of the two boards each side of K (Fig. 197). 
Of course, it is not necessary to fit a board in against the stern- 
piece, for a cleat will answer the purpose, but a good, heavy stern- 
piece is often desirable and the board shown in diagram N (Fig. 

Fig. 199.— Fitting the skeg. 

197) will serve to add strength to the stern as well as to furnish a 
firm rest for the stern seat, but it will also add weight. 

The Keel-Board 

is an advisable addition to the boat, but may also be omitted with- 
out serious results (H, Fig. 197). 

The keel-board should be 4I inches wide, i inch thick, and 
should be cut pointed, to fit snugly in the bow, and nailed in place 
along the centre of the floor, before the seats are put in the boat. 
A similar board along the bottom, joining the two cleats each side 
of the skeg at y (Fig. 199) and extending to the bow will prevent 
the danger of loosening the bottom-planks when bumping over 
rifts, shallow places, or when the boat needs to be hauled on a 
stony shore; this bottom-board may also be omitted to save time 
and lumber- and is not shown in the diagram. 

Mow to Build a Cheap Boat 


The Skeg 

is ?. triangular board (Figs. 198 and 199), roughly speaking, of 
the same dimensions as the pieces sawed from the side -board 
b, c, d (Fig. 196). The stern-end will be about 7 inches wide and 
it will taper off to nothing at y (Fig. 198). The skeg is held in 

Fig. 200. 

Fig. 201 

place by cleats of i-inch lumber, 2 inches wide, nailed to the bot- 
tom on each side of the skeg. To get the proper dimensions ex- 
periment with the pieces sawed from the A boards and cut your 
skeg board so that its bottom edge will be level with the bottom at 
y (Fig. 198); the diagonal line, to correspond with the slant of 
the stern, can be accurately drawn if the skeg is left untrimmed 
until it is fastened in place. 

To Fasten on the Skeg 

rule a line from the centre of the stem to the centre of the bow 
and toe-nail the skeg on along this hne. This must be accurately 
done or you will make a boat which will have an uncomfortable 
tendency to move in circles. After toe-nailing the skeg to the bot- 
tom, nail the two cleats, one on each side of the skeg, and let them 
fit as closely as may be to the keel. Now saw off the stern-ends 
of the cleats and lay a rule along the stern, as the stick is placed in 
Fig. 198, where the boy has his finger; rule a pencil line across the 
protruding end of the keel and saw off the end along the diagonal 

150 Boat-Building and Boating 

line, so that the stem-cleat z (Fig. 198) may be nailed in place to 
finish the work. 

You can buy rowlocks of galvanized iron for about a quarter 
of a dollar a pair; the brass ones are not expensive, but even when 
the store furnishes the hardware there must be a firm support of 
some sort to hold the rowlock. 

If you use the manufactured article, to be found at any hard- 
ware store, the merchant will supply you with the screws, plates, 
and rowlocks, but he will not furnish you with the blocks for the 
holes in which the spindles of the rowlocks fit. Fig. 202 shows a 
rude, but serviceable, support for the lock made of short oaken 
posts much in vogue in Pennsylvania, but Fig. 201 is much better, 
and if it is made of oak and bolted to the sides of the boat it will 
last as long as the boat. Fig. 201 may be put upon either the out- 
side or inside of the boat, according to the width amidship. 

A Guard Rail 

or fender, of i by 2 inch lumber, alongside of and even with the 
top of the side-boards, from bow to stern, gives finish and strength 
to the craft; but in a cheap boat, or a hastily constructed one, this 
may be omitted, as it is in these diagrams. 

If you are building your boat out of the convenient reach of 
the hardware shop, you must make your own rowlocks. Fig. 
200 shows the crude ones formerly used by the raftsmen for the 
Yankee pines, and Figs. 203 and 204 show rowlocks made with the 
oaken or hard-wood thole-pins fitting in holes cut for that pur- 
pose in the form of notches (U, Fig. 204) in the side of the boat, 
or as spaces left between the blocks, as shown by R (Fig. 203). 
When the side-boards A, A of the boat are notched a cleat of hard 
wood 5 or 6 inches wide, and extending some distance each side 
of the side-boards, must be used, as is shown by diagram V (Fig. 
204) and Fig. 203. The diagram R (Fig. 203) explains itself; 
there is a centre block nailed to the side-board and two more each 
side, leaving spaces for the thole-pins T (Fig. 203) to fit and 
guarded by another piece (R) bolted through to the sides. 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 


If bolts are out of your reach, nails and screws may act as sub- 
stitutes, and Fig. 204 will then be the best form of rowlock to 

To fix the place for rowlocks, seat yourself in the oarsman's 
seat, grasp the oars as in rowing, and mark the place which best 
fits the reach of your arms and oars as in rowing. It will probably 
be about 13 inches aft from the centre of the seat. 

To Transform an Ordinary Skiff or Scow Into a Sailing-Boat 

It is necessary to build the centreboard box and cut a hole 
through the bottom of the boat. For the average row-boat or 

Fig. 208 

Fig. 204. 

skiff, you can make the centreboard box about 48 inches long 
and not higher, of course, than the gunwales of the boat. Make 
the box of 2-inch plank, and before nailing the sides together 
coat the seams thoroughly with white lead so as to prevent it 
from leaking. The centreboard should be made of 2-inch plank, 
which when planed down and smoothed will be about i| of an inch 
thick, and the space in the box should be wide enough to allow it 
to move freely up and down, with no danger of its jamming. A 
hole should be cut in the bottom of the boat to correspond with the 
opening in the centreboard box, which, with a 48-inch box, will 
probably be an opening of 40 inches long and i inch wide. The 
centreboard is hinged to the box by a bolt run through at the 
point marked A on Fig. 205. The centreboard should move 
freely on the bolt, but the bolt itself should fit tightly in the 


Boat-Building and Boating 

sides of the box, otherwise the water will leak through. There 
will be no danger of the bolt's turning in its socket if the 
hole through the centreboard through which the bolt is thrust is 
made large enough. The centreboard box should be generously 

Fig. 205. 

painted with w^hite lead on the bottom edges where it fits on the 
floor of the boat around the centreboard hole. The bottom of 
the boat floor should also be coated with white lead and over this 
a strip of muslin spread before the box is securely nailed to the floor 
of the boat from the bottom or under side of the boat. When this 
is done the muslin covering the hole can be cut away with a sharp 

How to Build a Cheap Boat 158 

knife. A rope may then be fastened to the loose end of the centre- 
board with a cross-stick attached to the end of the rope to prevent 
it from slipping down the hole in the box. With this rope the 
centreboard may be raised or lowered to suit the pleasure of the 
sailor. (Fig. 205.) 



Just What One Must Do to Build It — Detailed Instructions as to 
How to Make the Boat and How to Rig It 

Good straight-grained pine wood is, without doubt, the best 
" all-around '* wood for general use. It is easily whittled with a 
pocket-knife; it works smoothly under a plane; can be sawed 
without fatiguing the amateur carpenter; it is elastic and phable; 
therefore use pine lumber to build your boat. 

Examine the lumber pile carefully and select four boards nearly 
ahke. Do not allow the dealer or his men to talk you into taking 
lumber with blemishes. The side pieces should be of straight- 
grained wood, with no large knots and no "checks" (cracks) in 
them, and must not be "wind shaken." 

Measure the wood and see that it is over twenty-two feet long 
by one foot four or five inches wide and one inch thick. Trim 
two of the side-pieces until they are exact duphcates (Fig. 206). 
The stem-piece (or bow-piece) should be made from a triangular 
piece of oak (Fig. 212), and it is wise to make it a few inches longer 
than will be necessary, so that there may be no danger of finding, 
after all your labor, that the stick is too short; much better too 
long, for it is a simple matter to saw it off. Make a second stem- 
piece (Fig. 213) of oak about one inch thick and the same length 
as the first, and two or three inches wide, or twice as wide as the 
thickness of the side-boards. 

The Stern-piece 

The stem-piece can be fashioned out of two-inch pine boards, 
and may be made as wide or narrow as you choose. A narrow 


A *^ Rough-and-Ready'* Boat 


stem makes a trim-looking craft. With your saw cut off the cor- 
ner of the tail-piece, so that it will be in the form of a blunted tri- 
angle (Fig. 214), measuring three feet ten and one-half inches 
across the base, three feet four inches on each side, and nine and 

Fig. 206. 

%1. fta^ 


^n. i>ioe oo^p-o 


Fig. 208. 

Fig. 209. Fig. 210. 

Diagrams showing the construction of the rough-and-ready. 

one-half inches at the apex. The base of the triangle will be the 
top and the apex will be the bottom of the stern-board of your 

Now make a brace on which to model your boat. Let it be of 
two-inch pine wood, two and one-half feet wide and seven and 
one-half feet long (Fig. 207). Measure twelve inches on one 
edge of this board from each end toward the centre and mark the 
points; then rule lines from these points diagonally across the 
width of the board (A, B and C, D — Fig. 207), and saw off the 
corners, as shown by the dotted line in Fig. 207. 

Lay the boards selected for the lower side-boards on a level floor 
and measure off one and one-half foot on the bottom edge^ then 

156 Boat-Building and Boating 

in a line with the end of the board mark a point on the floor that 
would be the top edge of the board if the board were two and one- 
half feet wide; rule a line from the point on the floor to the point 
marked en the board and saw off the corner as marked; make the 
other side-piece correspond exactly with the first (Fig. 206). 

Use Rope for Binding 

Set the side-pieces upon their bottoms or shorter edges and place 
the brace between the sides. Now bind the stern ends with a 
rope and bring the bow-pieces together until they touch; rope 
them in this position, and when all is fast push the brace up until 
it rests at a point nine feet from the bow; fasten it here with a 
couple of nails driven in, but leaving their heads far enough from 
the wood to render it easy to draw them out. Now adjust the 
bow-piece, and use the greatest of care in making the sides exactly 
alike, otherwise you will wonder how you happened to have such 
an unaccountable twist in your craft. When the stem is properly 
adjusted fasten on the side-boards with screws. Do not try to 
hammer the screws in place, but bore holes first and use a screw- 

Take your stern-piece and measure the exact width of the stern 
end of the bottom-boards and mark it at the bottom of the stern- 
piece; or, better still, since the stern-board will set at an angle, put 
it temporarily in place, bind it fast with the ropes^ and mark with 
a pencil just where the side-boards cross the ends of the stern- 
board. Remove the stern-board and saw out a piece one inch 
wide, the thickness of the bottom-board, from the place marked 
to the bottom of the stern-board. Because the top side-board 
overlaps the bottom one at the stern, there must be either a large 
crack left there or the stern-board notched to fit the side-boards 
(Fig. 214). Replace the stern-board and nail side-boards fast 
to it; now loosen the ropes which have held your boat in shape, 
and fit on the upper side-boards so that at the stern they will over- 
lap the lower side-boards an inch. Hold in place with your rope, 
th^n brin2 the bow end up against the stern-piece over the top of 

A '' Rough-and-Ready'' Boat 


the lower side-board and fasten it in place with a rope. With your 
carpenter's pencil mark the overlap, and with a plane made for 
that purpose, called a rabbet, trim down your board so that it will 
have a shoulder and an overlap to rest on the bottom-board, run- 
ning out to nothing at the bow. When the boards fit all right 
over the lower ones bind them in place and then nail them there 
(Fig. 208). If you can obtain two good boards of the requisite 

^1 Fig. 215. 

Fig. 211. 
The rough-and-ready. 

Figs. 212, 213. and 214. 

size, you need have but one board for each side of your boat; 
this will obviate the necessity of using the rabbet, and be very 
much easier; but with single boards of the required dimensions 
there is great danger ol splitting or cracking while bending the 

Planing the Bottom 

Turn the boat upside down and you will see that there is a de- 
cided arch extending from stem* to stern. This would cause the 
boat to sink too deep amidship, and must be remedied to some 

158 Boat-Building and Boating 

extent by cutting away the middle of the arch, so that the sides 
in the exact centre will measure at least four inches less in width 
than at the bow and stern, and reducing the convex or curved form 
to a straight line in the middle, which will give a sheer to the bow 
and stern. A good plane is the best tool to use for this purpose, 
as with it there is no danger of cutting too deep or of sphtting the 
side -boards. Saw off the projecting ends of the side-boards at the 

Make the bottom of three-quarter-inch boards, they may be 
bevelled like Fig. 231. Lay the boards crosswise, nail them in 
place, leaving the irregular ends projecting on each side. The 
reason for this is obvious. When you look at the bottom of the 
boat you will at once see that on account of the form no two 
boards can be the same shape, and the easiest way is to treat thtj 
boat bottom as if it were a square-sided scow. Fit the plankji 
closely together, nail them on securely, and then neatly saw off 
the projecting ends (Fig. 210). 

The Deck 

The brace may now be removed by carefully drawing the nails, 
so that a bottom plank trimmed to fit the bow and the stern can 
be securely nailed in place (Fig. 216). Cut a notch in your brace 
to fit tightly over the bottom plank just laid. Plane off the top 
of the brace so that when in the boat the top of the brace will be 
four inches below the top of the side-boards. Replace the brace 
and securely nail it. Next cut two small cross-pieces ( F, G, Fig. 
209) and place them near the bow, four inches below the top of the 
sides of the boat. Drive the nails from the outside through the 
side-boards into the end of F and G, the cross-brace. Cut out a 
bow-piece to fit from the middle of G to the bow and nail it in 
place, driving the nails from the outside into the edge of the bow- 
piece. Fasten a small cleat along the boat from the solid boart^ 
brace to F on each side and deck the space over with light lumbe*. 

Of the same material make a trap- door to fit in between the 
braces F and G. This door should be big enough for a boy t<3 

A '' Rough-and- Ready ^' Boat 


reach through, for this compartment is intended as a safe place to 
•Store cooking utensils, foods, etc., as well as a water-tight compart- 
ment. At a point five feet from the stem put another cross-brace, 
similar to the ones in the bow, four inches below the top of the 
sides. At the same level nail a cleat on the stern-piece and make 
a stern seat by boarding over between the cross-piece and the cleat. 
When your boat is resting securely on the floor or level ground rig 
a temporary seat, then take an oar and by experiment find just 
where the rowlock will be most convenient and mark the spot. 

Fig. 216. — Top view of rough-and-ready, with tiller stick. 

Also mark the spot best suited for the seat. On each side of the 
«pot marked for the rowlock cut two notches in the side-boards 
^wo inches deep, one and a half inch wide, and three inches 
apart. Saw two more notches exactly like these upon the opposite 
side of your boat. These will make the rowlocks when the side- 
strips are nailed on (Fig. 216). 

The side-strips should each be made of one-inch plank three 
inches wide and a few inches longer than the side-boards. Nail 
the strips on the outside of the boat flush with the top of the side- 
boards. Make your thole-pins of some hard wood, and make 
two sets of them while you are about it, "one set to use and one 
set to lose." Screw a hard-wood cleat on the inside of your boat 
over each pair of rowlocks, as shown in Fig. 216. 

Ready for the Water 

Fasten the remaining bow-piece securely over the ends of your 
side-boards, and the nose of your craft is finished. 

160 Boat-Building and Boating 

Put a good, heavy keel on your boat by screwing it tightly in the 
stern to the hard-wood rudder-post that is fastened to the centre 
of the stern; bolt your keel with four iron bolts (Fig. 211) to the 
bottom of the boat, and the ship is ready to launch, after which 
she can be equipped with sails and oars. 

Of course, you understand that all nail-holes and crevices 
should be puttied up, and if paint is used, it must be applied be- 
fore wetting the boat. But if you have done your work well, there 
will be little need of paint or putty to make it tight after the wood 
has swelled in the water. Fasten your rudder on with hooks and 
screw-eyes, and make it as shown in the diagram (Fig. 211). 
Step your mainmast in the bow through a round hole in the deck 
and a square hole in the step, which must, of course, be screwed 
tightly to the bottom before the bow is decked over. 

Step your jigger or dandy mast in the stern after the same man- 
ner. These masts should neither of them be very large, and are 
intended to be removed at pleasure by unstepping them, that is, 
simply pulling them out of their sockets. An outrigger will be 
found necessary for your dandy-sail, and since the deck aft is be- 
low the sides of the boat, a block of wood will have to be nailed to 
the deck to the starboard, or right-hand, side of the rudder-post. 
If the builder chooses, he can make the decks flush with the sides 
of the boat and thus avoid blocks. A couple of staples for the 
out-rigger to slip through are next in order. They must be fast- 
ened firmly in the block or stick of wood just nailed to the deck. 
A similar arrangement can be made for the bowsprit, but as it is 
a movable bowsprit, and the stem of the boat is in the way, put 
it to the port, or left-hand, side of the stem of the craft (Fig. 216). 

How to Make the Sail 

Secure for a sail material as strong as you can find, but it need 
not be heavy. Unbleached muslin is cheap and will make good 
sails. Turn over the edges and sew or hem them, as in the dia- 
gram. Make eyelets like button-holes in the luff of the sail — that 
is, the edge of the sail nearest the mast. Sew a small loop of rope 

A '' Rough-and- Ready''' Boat 


in each corner of the sail. Through 
the eyelets lace the luff of the sail to 
the mast. 

From spruce or pine make a sprit 
two inches in diameter. For a " sheet" 
— that is, the rope or line that you 
manage the sail with — tie a good stout 
line about a dozen feet long to the 
loop in the loose corner of the sail. 
Trim the upper end of the sprit to fit 
the loop in the top of the sail and make 
a simple notch in the other end to hold 
the hne called the "snotter." 

Now, as you can readily see by re- 
ferring to Fig. 211, when the sprit is 
pushed into the loop at the top of the 
sail the sail is spread. To hold it in 
place make a cleat like the one in the 
diagram and bind it firmly w^ith a 
cord to the sprit; pass the snotter, or 
line, fastened to the mast through the 
notch in the sprit up to the cleat and 
make fast, and the sail is set. The 
jigger, or dandy, is exactly hke the 
mainsail except in size, and the sheet 
rope is run through a block or pulley 
at the end of the outrigger and then 
made fast to a cleat near the man at 
the rudder or helm. The jib is a 
simple affair hooked on a screw-eye in 
the end of the bowsprit. The jib hal- 
yard, or line for hoisting the jib, runs 

from the top of the jib through a screw-eye in the top of the mast, 
down the port side of the mast to a cleat, where it is made fast. 
When the jib is set the jib-sheets are fastened to a loop sewed in 

Fig. 217, ■with tiller. — Rudder lines. 

162 Boat-Building and Boating 

the jib at the lower or loose end. There are two jib-sheets, one 
for each side of the boat, so that one may be made fast and the 
other loosened, according to the wind. The remaining details 
you must study out from the diagrams or learn by experiment. 

How to Reef Her 

When the wind is high reef your sails by letting go the snotter 
and pulling out the sprit. This will drop your peak and leave 
you with a simple leg-of-mutton sail. Only use the jib in light 

In this boat, with a little knowledge of sailing, you may cruisa 
for weeks, lowering your sails at night and making a tent over tha 
cock-pit for a sleeping-room. Sails with boom and gaffs may be 
used if desired. 



Plans for a House-Boat that May Be a Camp or Built as Large 

as a Hotel 

When the great West of the United States began to attract im- 
migrants from the Eastern coast settlements, the Ohio River 
rolled between banks literally teeming with all sorts of wild game 
and wilder men: then it was that the American house-boat had its 

The Mississippi, Ohio, and their tributaries furnished highways 
for easy travel, of which the daring pioneers soon availed them- 

Lumber was to be had for the labor of felling the trees. From 
the borders of the Eastern plantations to the prairies, and below 
the Ohio to the Mississippi, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf 
of Mexico, was one vast forest of trees; trees whose trunks were 
unscarred by the axe, and whose tall tops reached an altitude 
which would hardly be believed by those of this generation, who 
have only seen second, third, or fourth growth timber. 

When the settlement of this new part of the country began it was 
not long before each stream poured out, with its own flood of 

A Unique Navy 

There were keel-boats, built something like a modem canal- 
boat, only of much greater dimensions; there were broad-horns, 
looking like Noak's arks from some giant's toy-shop, and there 
were flat-boats and rafts, the latter with houses built on them, f»13 


164 Boat-Building a7id Boating 

recklessly drifting, or being propelled by long sweeps down the cur- 
rent into the great solemn, unknown wilderness. 

Every island, had it a tongue, could tell of wrecks; every point 
or headland, of adventure. 

The perils were great and the forest solemn, but the immigrants 
were merry, and the squeaking fiddle made the red man rise up 
from his hiding-place and look with wonder upon the "long 
knives" and their squaws dancing on the decks of their rude crafts, 
as they swept by into the unknown. 

The advent of the steam-boat gradually drove the flat-boat, 
broad-horn, keel-boat, and all the primitive sweep-propelled craft 
from the rivers, but many of the old boatmen were loath to give 
up so pleasant a mode of existence, and they built themselves 
house-boats, and, still clinging to their nomadic habits, took their 
wives, and went to house-keeping on the bosom of the waters they 
*oved so well. 

Their descendants now form what might well be called a race 
of river-dwellers, and to this day their quaint little arks Ene the 
chores of the Mississippi and its tributaries. 

Some of These House-Boats 

are as crudely made as the Italian huts we see built along the rail- 
roads, but others are neatly painted, and the interiors are like the 
proverbial New England homes, where everything is spick-and- 

Like the driftwood, these boats come down the stream with 
every freshet, and whenever it happens that the waters are par- 
ticukrly high they land at some promising spot and earn a hveli- 
hood on the adjacent water, by fishing and working aboard the 
other river-craft, or they land at some farming district, and as the 
waters recede they prop up and level their boats, on the bank, with 
stones or blocks of wood placed under the lower corners of their 

The muddy waters, as they retire, leave a long stretch of fertile 
land between the stranded house and the river, and this space is 

Cheaj) and Substantial House-Boats 165 

utilized as a farm, where ducks, chickens, goats and pigs are 
raised and where garden-truck grows luxuriantly. 

From a boat their home has been transformed to a farm-house; 
but sooner or later there will be another big freshet, and when 
the waters reach the late farm-house, lo! it is a boat again, and goes 
drifting in its happy-go-lucky way down the current. If it escapes 
the perils of snags and the monster battering-rams, which the rapid 
current makes of the drifting trees in the flood, it will land again, 
somewhere, down-stream. 

Lately, while on a sketching trip through Kentucky, I was 
greatly interested in these boats, and on the Ohio River I saw 
several making good headway against the four-mile-an-hour cur- 
rent. This they did by the aid of 

Big Square Sails 

spread on a mast planted near their bows, thus demonstrating 
the practicability of the use of sails for house-boats. 

The house-boats to be described in this article are much better 
adapted for sailing than any of the craft used by the water-gypsies 
of the Western rivers. 

For open and exposed waters, like the large lakes which dot 
many of our inland States, or the Long Island Sound on our coast, 
the following plans of the American boy's house-boat will have to 
be altered, but the alterations will be all in the hull. If you make 
the hull three feet deep it will have the effect of lowering the cabin, 
while the head-room inside will remain the same. Such a craft 
can carry a good-sized sail, and weather any gale you are liable 
to encounter, even on the Sound, during the summer months. 

Since the passing away of the glorious old flat-boat days, idle 
people in England have introduced the 

House-Boat as a Fashionable Fad 

which has spread to this country, and tlie boys now have a new 
source of fun, as a result of this English fad. 

There are still some nooks and corners left in every State in the 

Fig. 218. — A primitive house-boat. 

166 Boat-Building and Boating 

Union which the greedy pot-hunter and the devouring saw-mill 
have as yet left undisturbed, and at such places the boy boatmen 
may "wind their horns," as their ancestors did of old, and have 
almost as good a time. But first of all they must have a boat, and 
for convenience the American boy's house-boat will probably be 

found to excel either a broad- 
horn or a flat-boat model, it 
being a link between the two. 
The simplest possible house- 
boat is a Crusoe raft,* with a 
cabin near the stern and a 
sand-box for a camp-fire at the 
bow. A good time can be had aboard even this primitive craft. 
The next step in evolution is the long open scow, with a cabin 
formed by stretching canvas over hoops that reach from side to 
side of the boat (see Fig. 218). 
Every boy knows how to build 

A Flat-Bottomed Scow 

or at least every boy should know how to make as simple a craft 
as the scow, but for fear some lad among my readers has neglected 
this part of his education, I will give a few hints which he may 

Building Material 

Select lumber that is free from large knots and other blemishes. 
Keep the two best boards for the sides of your boat. With your 
saw cut the side boards into the form of Fig. 219; see that they 
are exact duplicates. Set the two pieces parallel to each other 
upon their straight or top edges, as the first two pieces shown 
in Fig. 220. Nail on an end-piece at the bow and stern, as the 
bumper is nailed in Figs. 221 and 222; put the bottom on as 
shown in Figs. 196 and 210, and you have a simple scow. 

* See p. 10. 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 167 


In Fig. 219 you will notice that there are two sides and a centre- 
piece, but this centrepiece is not necessary for the ordinary open 
boat, shown by Fig. 218. Here you have one of the simple forms 
of house-boat, and you can make it of dimensions to suit your con- 
venience. I will not occupy space with the details of this boat, 

Fig. 219.— Unfinished. 

because they may be seen by a glance at the diagrams, and my pur- 
pose is to tell you how to build the American boy's house-boat, 
which is a more elegant craft than the rude open scow, with a can- 
vas-covered cabin, shown by Fig. 218. 

The Sides of the House-Boat 

are 16 feet long, and to make them you need some sound two-inch 
planks. After selecting the lumber plane it off and make the 
edges true and straight. Each side and the centrepiece should 
now measure exactly 16 feet in length by 14 inches in width, and 
about 2 inches thick. Cut off from each end of each piece a tri- 
angle, as shown by the dotted lines at G, H, I (Fig. 220) ; from H 
to G is I foot, and from H to I is 7 inches. Measure from H to I 
7 inches, and mark the point. Then measure from H to G, 12 

168 Boat-Building and Boating 

inches, and mark the point. Then, with a carpenter's pencil, 
draw a hne from G to I, and saw along this line. Keep the two 
best planks for the sides of your boat, and use the one that is left 
for the centrepiece. Measure 2 feet on the top or straight edge 
of your centrepiece, and mark the point A (Fig. 220). From A 
measure 8 feet 10 inches, and mark the point C (Fig. 220). 

With a carpenter's square rule the lines A, B and C, D, and 
make them each 10 inches long, then rule the line B, D (Fig. 220)0 
The piece A, B, C, D must now be carefully cut out; this can be 
done by using the saw to cut A, B and D, C. Tl en, about 6 
inches from A, saw another line of the same length, and with a 
chisel cut the block out. You then have room to insert a rip-saw, 
at B, and can saw along the line B, D until you reach D, when the 
piece may be removed, leaving the space A, B, D, C for the cabin 
of the boat (see Figs. 221 and 222.) 

At a point 9 inches from the bow of the boat make a mark on 
the centrepiece, and another mark 5 inches farther away, at F 
(Fig. 220). With the saw cut a sht at each mark, i inch deep, 
and with a chisel cut out, as shown by the dotted lines; do the 
same at E, leaving a space of i| feet between the two notches, 
which are made to allow the two planks shown in the plan (Fig. 
221) to rest on. These planks support the deck and the hatch, 
at the locker in the bow. The notches at E and F are not on the 
side-boards, the planks being supported at the sides by uprights. 
Figs. 221 and 222. 

All that now remains to be done with the centrepiece is to saw 
some three-cornered notches on bottom edge, one at bow, one at 
stern, and one or two amidship; this is to allow the water which 
may leak in to flow freely over the whole bottom, and to prevent it 
from gathering at one side and causing your craft to rest upon 
an uneven keel. 

Next select a level piece of ground near by and arrange the 
three pieces upon some supports, as shown in Fig. 219, so that 
from outside to outside of side-pieces it will measure just 8 feet 
across the bow and stern. Of i-inch board 

H I 

ig. 220.— Center 
board of house 

Fig. 221. — Plan of house boat. 

170 Boat-Building and Boatini, 


Make Four End-Pieces 

for the bow and stern (see A, A', Fig. 219), to fit between the 
sides and centrepiece. Make them each a trifle wider than H, 
I, Fig. 220, so that after they have been fitted they can be trimmed 
down with a plane, and bevelled on the same slant as the bottom 
at G, I, Fig. 220. It being 8 feet between the outside of each 
centrepiece, and the sides and the centrepiece being each 2 inches 
thick, that gives us 8 feet 6 inches, or 7 J feet as the combined 
length of A and A' (Fig. 219). In other words, each end-piece 
will be half of 7 J feet long — that is, 3 feet 9 inches long. After 
making the four end-pieces, each 3 feet 9, by 9 inches, fit the ends 
in place so that there is an inch protruding above and below. 
See that your bow and stern are perfectly square, and nail with 
wire nails through the sides into A and A'; toe-nail at the centre- 
piece — that is, drive the nails from the broad side of A and A' 
slantingly, into the centrepiece, after which trim down with your 
plane the projecting inch on bottom, to agree with the slant of the 
bottom of the boat. 

Now for the Bottom 

This is simple work. All that is necessary is to have straight, 
true edges to your one-inch planks, fit them together, and nail them 
in place. Of course, when you come to the slant at bow and stern 
the bottom-boards at each end will have to have a bevelled edge, 
to fit snugly against the boards on the flat part of the bottom of 
the boat; but any boy who is accustomed to shake the gray matter 
in his brain can do this. Remember, scientists say that thought 
is the agitation of the gray matter of the brain, and if you are going 
to build a boat or play a good game of football you must shake 
up that gray stuff, or the other boys will put you down as a " stuff." 
Nc boy can expect to be successful in building a boat, of even the 
crudest type, unless he keeps his wits about him, so I shall take 
it for granted that there are no "stuffs" among my readers. 

After the boards are all snugly nailed on the bottom , and fitted 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 


together so that there are no cracks to calk up, the hull is ready to 

The Bumpers 

nailed in place, at bow and stern. See the plan, Fig. 221, and 
the elevation, Fig. 222. The bumpers must be made of 2-inch 
plank, 8 feet long by about 9 inches wide; wide enough to cover 

Fig. 222. — Cross-section of boat 

A and A' of Fig. 219, and to leave room for a bevel at the bottom 
edge to meet the slant of the bow and stern, and still have room 
at the top to cover the edge of the deck to the hull (see Fig. 222). 

The Hull May Now Be Painted 

with two coats of good paint, and after it is dry may be turned 
over and allowed to rest on a number of round sticks, called rollers. 
If you will examine Fig. 221 you will see there 

Twenty-Odd Ribs 

These are what are called two-by-fours — that is, 2 inches thick 
by 4 inches wide. They support the floor of the cabin and for- 
ward locker, at the same time adding strength to the hull. 

The ribs are each the same length as the end-board. A and A' 
of Fig. 219, are nailed in place in the same manner. Each 

172 Boat-Building and Boating 

bottom-rib must have a notch 2 inches deep cut in the bottom 
edge to allow the free passage of water, so as to enable you to 
pump dry. Commencing at the stern, the distance between the 
inside of the bumper and the first rib is i foot 6 inches. This is a 
deck-rib, as may be seen by reference to Figs. 221 and 222. After 
measuring i| foot from the bumper, on inside of side-board, mark 
the point with a carpenter's pencil. Measure the same distance 
on the centrepiece, and mark the point as before; then carefully 
fit your rib in flush or even with the top of the side-piece, and fasten 
it in place by nails driven through the side-board into the end of 
the rib, and toe-nailed to centrepiece. Do the same with its mate 
on the other side of centrepiece. 

The Cabin of this House-Boat 

is to fit in the space, A, B, D, C of the centrepiece, Fig. 220. 
There is to be a one-inch plank at each end (see Fig. 222), next 
to which the side-supports at each end of cabin fit. The supports 
are two-by-twos; so, allowing i inch for the plank and 2 inches 
for the upright support, the next pair of ribs will be just 3 inches 
from A B, Fig. 220, of the centrepiece (see Figs. 221 and 222). 
The twin ribs at the forward end of the cabin will be the same 
distance from D C, Fig. 220, as shown in the plan and elevation. 
Figs. 221 and 222. This leaves five pairs of ribs to be distributed 
between the front and back end of the cabin. From the outside 
of each end-support to the inside of the nearest middle-support 
is 2 feet 6 inches. Allowing 2 inches for the supports, this will 
place the adjoining ribs 2 feet 8 inches from the outside of the 
end-supports. The other ribs are placed midway between, as 
may be seen by the elevation, Fig. 222. 
There is another pair of 


at the forward end of the cabin, which are placed flush with the 
line D, C, Fig. 220 (see Figs. 221 and 222). The two pairs of ribs 
in the bow are spaced, as shown in the diagram. This description 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 173 

may appear as if it was a complicated affair; but you will find it a 
simple thing to work out if you will remember to allow space for 
your pump in the stern, space for the end-planks at after and for- 
ward end of cabin, and space for your uprights. The planks at 
after and forward end of cabin are to box in the cabin floor. 

The Boat May Now Be Launched 

by sliding it over the rollers, which will not be found a difficult 

The Plans Show Three Lockers 

— two in the bow under the hatch and one under the rear bunk — 
but if it is deemed necessary the space between-decks, at each 
side of the cabin, may be utilized as lockers. In this space you 
can store enough truck to last for months. A couple of doors in 
the plank at the front of the cabin opening, under the deck, will 
be found very convenient to reach the forward locker in wet 

The Keel 

is a triangular piece of 2-inch board, made to fit exactly in the mid- 
dle of the stern, and had best be nailed in place before the boat is 
launched (see Fig. 222). The keel must have its bottom edge 
flush with the bottom of the boat, and a strip of hard-wood nailed 
on the stem-end of the keel and bumper, as shown in the diagram. 
A couple of strong screw-eyes will support the rudder. 
After the boat is launched the 

Side°Supports for the Cabin May Be Erected 

These are " two-by-twos " and eight in number, and each 5 feet 
9 inches long. Nail them securely at their lower ends to the ad- 
joining ribs. See that they are plumb, and fasten them tempora- 
rily with diagonal pieces, to hold the top ends in place, while you 
nail down the lower deck or flooring. 

Now fit and nail the two i-inch planks in place, at the bow and 

174 Boat-Buildi7ig and Boating 

stern-end of the cabin, each of which has its top one inch above the 
sides, even with the proposed deck (see dotted lines in Fig. 222). 

Use Ordinary Flooring 

or if that is not obtainable use |-inch pine boards, and run them 
lengthwise from the bow to the front end of the cabin and along 
the sides of the cabin. Then floor the cabin lengthwise from bow 
to stern. This gives you a dry cabin floor, for there are 4 inches 
of space underneath for bilge-water, which unless your boat is 
badly made and very leaky, is plenty of room for what little water 
may leak in from above or below. The two side-boards of the 
cabin floor must, of course, have square places neatly cut out to 
fit the uprights of the cabin. This may be done by slipping the 
floor-board up against the uprights and carefully marking the 
places with a pencil where they will come through the board, 
and then at each mark sawing two inches in the floor plank, and 
cutting out the blocks with a chisel. 

The Hatch 

Now take a "four-by-four" and saw off eight short supports 
for the two i-inch planks which support the hatch. Figs. 221 and 
222. Toe-nail the middle four-by-four to the floor in such a posi- 
tion that the two cross-planks (which are made to fit in the notches 
E and F, Fig. 220) will rest on the supports. Nail the four other 
supports to the side-boards of your boat, and on top of these nail 
the cross-planks, as shown in the diagrams. 

The boat is now ready for its 

Upper Deck 

of i-inch pine boards. These are to be nailed on lengthwise, bow 
and stern and at sides of cabin, leaving, of course, the cabin open, 
as shown by the position of the boys in Fig. 222, and an opening, 
3 feet by 2, for the hatch (Fig. 221). The two floors will act as 
benches for the uprights of the cabin, and hold them stiff and 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 


To further stiffen the frame, make two diagonals for the stem- 
end, as shown in Fig. 223, and nail them in place. 

The Rafters 

or roof-rods, should extend a foot each way beyond the cabin, 
hence cut them two feet longer than the cabin, and after testing 

_j |_J |_i i_j L 

Fig. 223.— End view. 

your uprights, to see that they are exactly plumb, nail the two side 
roof-rods in place (see dotted hnes in Fig. 222). The cross-pieces 
at the ends, as they support no great weight, may be fitted between 
the two side-rods, and nailed there. 

176 Boat-Building and Boating 

The roof is to be made of J-inch boards bent into a curve, and 
the ridge-pole, or centre roof-rod, must needs have some support. 
This is obtained by two short pieces of 2 by 4, each 6 inches long, 
which are toe-nailed to the centre of each cross-rod, and the ridge- 
pole nailed to their tops. At 3 feet from the upper deck the side 
frame-pieces are toe-nailed to the uprights. As may be seen, there 
are three two-by- fours on each side (Fig. 222). 

The space between the side frame-pieces, the two middle up- 
rights, and side roof-rods, is where the windows are to be placed. 

Use J-inch (tongue and groove preferred) pine boards for 
sidings, and 

Box In Your Cabin 

neatly, allowmg space for windows on each side, as indicated. 
Leave the front open. Of the same kind of boards make your 
roof; the boards being light you can bend them down upon each 
side and nail them to the side roof-rods, forming a pretty curve, 
as may be seen in the illustration of the American boy's house-boat. 

This Roof 

to be finished neatly and made entirely water-proof, should be 
covered with tent-cloth or light canvas, smoothly stretched over 
and tacked upon the under side of the projecting edges. Three 
good coats of paint will make it water-proof and pleasant to look 

The description, so far, has been for a neatly finished craft, but 
I have seen very serviceable and comfortable house-boats built of 
rough lumber, in which case the curved roof, when they had one, 
had narrow strips nailed over the boards where they joined each 
other or was covered with tar-paper. 

To Contrive a Movable Front 

to your cabin, make two doors to fit and close the front opening, 
but in place of hanging the doors on hinges, set them in place. 
Each door should have a good strong strap nailed securely on the 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 177 

inside, for a handle, and a batten or cross-piece at top and bottom 
of inside surface. A ij by 4, run parallel to the front top 
cross-frame and nailed there, just a sufficient distance from it to 
allow the top of the door to be inserted between, will hold the top 

Fig. 224.— End view. 

of the door securely. A two-by-four, with bolt-holes near either 
end to correspond with bolt-holes in the floor, will hold the bot- 
tom when the door is pushed in place, the movable bottom-piece 
shoved against it and the bolts thrust in (see Fig. 225, view from 
inside of cabin. Fig. 226, side view). It will be far less work to 
break in the side of the cabin than to burst in such doors, if they 
are well made. These doors possess this advantage: they can be 
removed and used as table-tops, leaving the whole front open to 


Boat-Building and Boating 

the summer breeze, or one may be removed, and still allow plenty 
of ventilation. A moulding on deck around the cabin is not 
necessary, but it will add finish and prevent the rain-water from 
leaking in. 

To lock up the boat you must set the doors from the inside, 






Fig. 225. — Inside view of dcor. 

Fig 226 —Side view 
of door. 

and if you wish to leave the craft locked you must crawl out of the 
window and fasten the latter with a lock. 
Fig. 227 shows the construction of 

The Rudder 

and also an arrangement by which it may be worked from the 
front of the boat, which, when the boat is towed, will be found 
most convenient. 

The hatch should be made of i-inch boards, to fit snugly flush 
with the deck, as in the illustration, or made of 2-inch plank, 
and a moulding fitted around the opening, as shown in Fig. 222. 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 


A Pair of Rowlocks 

made of two round oak sticks with an iron rod in their upper ends, 
may be placed in holes in the deck near the bow, and the boat can 
be propelled by two oarsmen using long "sweeps," which have 
holes at the proper places to fit over the iron rods projecting from 
the oaken rowlocks. These rowlocks may be removed when not 


1 , 







^ ]/ 



: :r 1 




Fig 227.— Side e 


in use, and the holes closed by wooden plugs, while the sweeps 
can be hung at the side of the cabin, under its eaves, or lashed fast 
to the roof. 

Two or More Ash Poles 

for pushing or poling the boat over shallow water or other difficult 
places for navigation are handy, and should not be left out of the 
equipment. The window-sashes may be hung on hinges and 
supplied with hooks and screw-eyes to fasten them open by hook- 
ing them to the eaves when it is desired to let in the fresh air. All 
window openings should be protected by wire netting to keep 
out insects. 

Two bunks can be fitted at the rear end of the cabin, one 
above the other, the bottom bunk being the lid to a locker (see 
Fig. 222). 

180 Boat-Building and Boating 

The Locker 

is simply a box, the top of which is just below the deck-line and 
extending the full width of the cabin. It has hinges at the back, 
and may be opened for the storage of luggage. 

Over the lid blankets are folded, making a divan during the 
day and a bed at night. | 

The top bunk is made like the frame of a cheap cot, but in place 
of being upholstered it has a strong piece of canvas stretched 
across it. This bunk is also hinged to the back of the cabin, so 
that when not in use it can be swung up against the roof and fast- 
ened there as the top berth in a sleeping-car is fastened. Four 
4 by 4 posts can be bolted to the side-support at each corner of 
the bottom bunk; they will amply support the top bunk, as the 
legs do a table-top when the frame is allowed to rest upon their 
upper ends. This makes accommodation for two boys, and 
there is still room for upper and lower side bunks, the cabin 
being but six feet wide. If you put bunks on both sides you will 
be rather crowded, it is true, but by allowing a i-foot passage in 
the middle, you can have two side bunks and plenty of head room. 
This will accommodate four boys, and that is a full crew for a boat 
of this size. 

On board a yacht I have often seen four full-grown men 
crowded into a smaller space in the cabin, while the sailormen 
in the fo'-castle had not near that amount of room. 

A More Simple Set of Plans 

Here the cabin is built on top of the upper deck, and there are 
no bottom-ribs, the uprights being held in place by blocks nailed 
to the bottom of the boat, and by the deck of the boat. This is 
6ecure enough for well-protected waters, small lakes, and small 
streams. Upon the inland streams of New York State I have seen 
two-story house-boats, the cabin, or house, being only a frame- 
work covered with canvas. One such craft I saw in central New 
York, drifting downstream over a shallow riff, and as it bumped 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 181 

along over the stones it presented a strange sight. The night was 
intensely dark, and the boat brightly lighted. The lights shone 
through the canvas covering, and this big, luminous house went 
bobbing over the shallow water, while shouts of laughter and the 
"plinky-plunk" of a banjo told in an unmistakable manner of the 
jolly time the crew were having. 

Canvas-Cabined House-Boat 

If you take an ordinary open scow and erect a frame of uprights 
and cross-pieces, and cover it with canvas, you will have just such 
a boat as the one seen in central New York. This boat may be 
propelled by oars, the rowers sitting under cover, and the canvas 
being lifted at the sides to allow the sweeps to work; but of course 
it will not be as snug as the well-made American boy's house-boat 
neither can it stand the same amount of rough usage, wind, and 
rain as the latter boat. 

In the frontispiece the reader will notice a stove-pipe at the stern; 
there is room for a small stove back of the cabin, and in fair 
weather it is much better to cook outside than inside the cabin. 
When you tie up to the shore for any length of time, a rude 
shelter of boughs and bark will make a good kitchen on the land, 
in which the stove may be placed, and you will enjoy all the fun 
of a camp, with the advantage of a snug house to sleep in. 

For the benefit of boys who doubt their ability to build a boat 
of this description, it may be well to state that other lads have used 
these directions and plans with successful results, and their boats 
now gracefully float on many waters, a source of satisfaction and 
pride to their owners. 

Information for Old Boys 

On all the Western rivers small flat-boats or scows are to be had 
at prices which vary in accordance with the mercantile instincts 
of the purchaser, and with the desire of the seller to dispose of his 
craft. Such boats are propelled by "sweeps," a name used to 
designate the long poles with boards on their outer edges that serve 

182 Boat-Building a7id Boating 

as blades and form the oars. These boats are often supphed with 
a deck-house, extending almost from end to end, and if such a 
house is lacking one may be built with little expense. The cabin 
may be divided into rooms and the sleeping apartments supplied 
with cheaply made bunks. It is not the material of the bunk 
which makes it comfortable — it is the mattress in the bunk upon 
which your comfort will depend. The kitchen and dining-room 
may be all in one. An awning spread over the roof will make a 
delightful place in which to lounge and catch the river breezes. 

The Cost of House-Boats 

The cost of a ready-made flat-bottomed house-boat is anywhere 
from thirty dollars to one or more thousands. In Florida such a 
boat, 40 by 20 feet, built for the quiet waters of the St. John's 
River or its tributaries, or the placid lagoons, will cost eight hun- 
dred dollars. This boat is well painted outside and rubbed down 
to a fine oil finish inside; it has one deck, and the hull is used for 
toilet apartments and state-rooms; the hull is well calked and all 
is in good trim. Such expense is, however, altogether unneces- 
sary — there need be no paint or polish. All you need is a well- 
calked hull and a water-tight roof of boards or canvas overhead; 
cots or bunks to sleep in; chairs, stools, boxes or benches to sit 
on; hammocks to loll in, and a good supply of provisions in 
the larder. 

House-boats for the open waters are necessarily more expensive. 
As a rule they need round bottoms that stand well out of the water, 
and are built like the hull of a ship. These boats cost as much to 
build as a small yacht. From twelve to fifteen hundred dollars 
will build a good house-boat, with comfortable sleeping-berths, 
toilet-rooms and store-rooms below; a kitchen, dining-room, and 
living-rooms on the cabin deck, with wide, breezy passageways 
separating them. 

If a bargain can be found in an old schooner with a good hull, 
for two or three hundred dollars, a first-class house-boat can be 
made by the expenditure of as much more for a cabin. The roofs 

Cheap and Substantial House-Boats 183 

of all house-boats should extend a foot or more beyond the sides 
of the cabin. 

For People of Limited Means 

For people with little money to spend, these expensive boats 
are as much out of reach as a yacht, but they may often be rented 
for prices within the means of people in moderate circumstances. 
At New York I have known a good schooner-yacht, 84 feet over all, 
to be chartered for two weeks, with crew of skipper and two men, 
the larder plentifully supplied with provisions and luxuries for six 
people and the crew, making nine in all, at a cost of thirty-six dol- 
lars apiece for each of the six passengers. An equally good house- 
boat should not cost over twelve dollars a week per passenger for 
a party of ten. In inland waters, if a boat could be rented, the 
cost should not exceed seven or eight dollars a week per passenger. 

A canal-boat is a most excellent house-boat for a pleasure party, 
either on inland streams or along our coast. 

Street-Car Cabins 

Since the introduction of cable and trolley-cars the street-car 
companies have been selling their old horse-cars, in some instances 
at figures below the cost of the window-glass in them; so cheap, 
in fact, that poor people buy them to use as woodsheds and 

One of these cars will make an ideal cabin for a house-boat, 
and can be adapted for that purpose with little or no alterations. 
All it needs is a good flat-boat to rest in, and you have a palatial 




How To Build the Jackson Glider — A Very Simple Form of Mo- 
tor-Boat, Which Will Hold Its Own in Speed With Even 
Expensive Boats of Double Horse-Power 

This boat is intended to slide over the top of the water and not 
through it, consequently it is built in the form of a flat-bottom 
scow. Order your wood dressed on both sides, otherwise it will 
come with one side rough. For the side-boards we need two pine, 
or cedar boards, to measure, when trimmed, 14 feet (Fig. 228), 
and to be 16 or 18 inches wide. 

The Stern-Board 

when trimmed, will be 2| feet long by i foot, 8| inches wide. 
It may even be a little widex, because the protruding part can be 
planed down after the boat is built (Fig. 229). 

To make the bow measure from the point E (Fig. 228) i foot 
8J inches and mark the point C. Measure along the same hne 
13 J inches and mark the point D. Next measure from B down 
along the edge of the boat one inch and mark the point F. Again 
measure down from B, 5I inches and mark the point G. With 
a carpenter's pencil draw the lines F D and G C and saw these 
pieces off along the dotted line (Fig. 232). The bow can then be 
rounded at the points A and B with a sharp knife or jackplane. 

To get the proper slant on the stern, measure from H 4 J inches 
to L and saw off the triangle LHK. Make the other side board 
an exact duplicate of the first one, as in Fig. 228. Next set these 
two boards on edge, like sledge runners (Fig. 230), and let them 


A Cheap and Speedy Motor-Boat 


be 2 feet, 6 inches apart (the boat will be safer if made six inches 
wider, and its speed will be almost as great), which can be tested 
by fitting the stern-boards between them before nailing the tem« 
porary boards on, which are to hold them in place (Fig. 230). Do 

Fig. 228. 

Fig. 229. 

[Fig. 230.— Parts of motor-boat. 

not drive the nails home, but leave the heads protruding on all 
temporary braces, so that they may be easily removed when 

Now turn the boat bottom side up and nail the bottom on, as 
already described in previous chapters (Fig. 232). The bottom- 
boards are to be so planed upon their edges that they leave V- 
shaped grooves on the inside of the boat to be calked with candle- 
wick and putty (Fig. 231). Next make a shaft-log by cutting a 
board in a triangular piece, as shown in Fig. 233, and nailing two 
other pieces of board on it, and leaving a space for the shaft-rod. 


Boat-Building and Boating 




over which js nailed a duplicate of the bottom-board, as shown 
in Fig. 234. Make the shaft-log of three thicknesses of i-inch 
plank. To make it more secure there should be a board nailed on 
the inside bottom of the boat, as shown in Fig. 235 by the dotted 

This board is put there to strengthen the bottom and allow us 
to cut a slot through for the admission of a shaft (Fig. 236) which 

is drawn on a scale shown below 
it. With the engine comes a 
stuffing box, through which the 
shaft passes and which prevents 
the water from coming up 
through the shaft-hole. The 
stuffing boxes, which are fur- 
nished to fit upon the inside of 
the boat, are expensive, but one 
to fit upon the stern of the shaft- 
log costs but little, and will an- 
swer all purposes. 

Of course, when attaching the 
shaft-log to the bottom, it must 
be in the exact centre of the 
boat. Find the centre of the 
boat at the bow and stern, mark 
the points and snap a chalk-line 
between them. Now place the 
shaft-log in position on this line and while holding that there 
firmly, mark around it with a carpenter's pencil. Next lay the 
shaft-log flat on its side with its edge along this line and with 
your pencil mark on the bottom of the boat the exact place 
where the shaft-hole must be cut to correspond with the one in the 
shaft-log. As may be seen by Fig. 236, the shaft runs through 
at an acute angle; hence the hole must be bored on a slant, or 
better still a slot cut through the floor long enough to allow for 
the slant. 


Fig. 231. 


188 Boat-Building and Boating 

The leak, which would naturally occur here is prevented by the 
stuffing box which is fastened on to the stern-end of the shaft-log 
where the latter protrudes for the propeller. To set the engine 
in the boat it is necessary to have an engine-bed. This is made 
of two pieces of board cut diagonally, upon which the engine 

Fig. 237 shows a piece of 2-inch board and a method of sawing 
it to make the duplicate pieces to form the engine-bed. The 
dimension of these pieces must be obtained by measuring the 
width of the engine rest, which is to be installed. The angle, of 
course, must correspond to the angle of the shaft. 

Make your own rudder of any shape that suits your fancy, 
square or paddle-shaped, of a piece of galvanized iron or of wood, 
as shown in the diagram; or you can simply fasten the rudder- 
stem to the transom (stern-board), as is often done on row-boats 
and sail-boats. If you desire to make your rudder like the one 
shown here, use two pieces of galvanized pipes for your rudder- 
posts, one of which fits loosely inside of the other. Make the 
rudder-posts of what is known as f-inch (which means literally 
a f-inch opening) and for its jacket use a |-inch pipe, or any two 
kinds of pipe, which will allow one to turn loosely inside the other. 
The smaller pipe can be bent easily by hand to suit your con- 
venience, after it has been thrust through the larger pipe. 

First bend the lower end of the small pipe to fit your proposed 
rudder, then remove the larger pipe and flatten the lower end of 
the small one by beating it with the hammer. To bore the screw- 
holes in the flattened end you will use a small tool for drilling 
metal. One of these drills, which will fit any carpenter's brace, 
can be procured for the cost of a few cents. 

Drill holes through the flattened end of your pipe for the recep- 
tion of your screws, which are to secure it to the rudder. It is 
now necessary to fasten a block of 2-inch plank securely to the 
bottom of the boat upon the inside where the rudder-post is to be 
set. This block might best be secured on with four bolts. A 
hole is then bored through the block and the bottom of the boat 

A Cheap and Speedy Motor-Boat 189 y 

a trifle smaller than the largest piece of pipe; the latter is sup- 
posed to have screw threads upon its lower end (Fig. 238) so that 
it may be screwed into the wood, but before doing so coat the 
threads with white lead and also the inside of the hole in the block 
with the same substance. 

When the larger pipe is now screwed into the block until its 
lower end is flushed with the outside bottom of the boat, the white 
lead will not only make the process easier, but will tend to keep 
out the moisture and water from the joint. 

From the outside thrust the upper end of the small pipe through 
the hole in the bottom until it protrudes the proper distance above 
the larger pipe, and with the point of a nail scratch a mark on the 
surface of the small pipe where it issues from the big one. At this 
point drill a hole through the small pipe to admit a nail which is 
to act as a peg to keep the helm from sliding down and jamming in 
its bearings. 

If you choose, a small seat or deck may be inserted in the siern, 
through which the helm extends and which will help to steady it. 
The top of the helm, or protruding ends of the small pipe may 
now be bent over toward the bow, as shown in the diagram, and 
by holding some hard substance under it, the end may be flattened 
with a hammer and two holes drilled through the flattened end 
for the rudder-line, as in Fig. 239. These lines work the rudder 
and extend on each side of the boat through some clothes-lines 
pulleys, as shown in Fig. 239. 

If you slice off the ring from a common rubber hose and slip 
it over the inside pipe before you fasten it in place, it will prevent 
the water from spurting up through the rudder pipe when the boat 
is speeding. 

Any boat will leak if not carefully built and the simplest kind 
of a craft carefully put together is as water-tight as the most fin- 
ished and expensive boat. 

For a gasoline tank any good galvanized iron vessel will answer 
if it holds five gallons or more of gasoline. It can be placed in the 
bow on a rest made for it. Of course the bottom of the tank must 

190 Boat-Building and Boating 

be on a level or higher than the carburetor of the engine; the tank 
is connected by a small copper, or block-tin pipe, which you pro- 
cure with the engine. 

This boat, if built according to plans, should cost ten dollars or 
less, not counting the cost of the engine. The cost of the latter 
will vary according to the style of one you use, and whether you 
get it first or second hand. 

A ten-horse power engine drove a boat of this kind at the rate of 
eighteen miles an hour. 

For beginners, this is as far as it is safe to go in boat-building, 
but thus far any one with a rudimentary knowledge of the use of 
tools can go, and, if one has followed the book through from 
chapter to chapter he should be a good boat-builder at 

The End 



Sy Dan C. Beard 


to Do and How to Do It illustrated by the author 

Gives sports adapted to all seasons of the year, tells boys how to make all 
kinds of things — boats, traps, toys, puzzles, aquariums, nshing-tackle; how 
to tie knots, splice ropes, to make bird calls, sleds, blow-guns, balloons; how 
to rear wild birds, to train dogs, and do the thousand and one things that 
boys take delight in. 


Field, and Forest Illustrated by the author 

"How to play all sorts of games with marbles, how to make and spin more 
kinds of tops than most boys ever heard of, how to make the latest things 
in plain and fancy kites, where to dig bait and how to fish, all about boats 
and sailing, and a host of other things ... an unmixed delight to any 
boy." — New York Tribune. 


Ideas for Out of Doors Illustrated by the author 

"Instructions as to ways to build boats and fire-engines, make aquariums, 
rafts, and sleds, to camp in a back-yard, etc. No better book of the kind ex- 
ists." — Chicago Record-Herald. 


Illustrated by the author 

Easily workable directions, accompanied by very full illustration, for over 

fifty shelters, shacks, and shanties. 


for Beginners Illustrated by the author 

All that Dan Beard knows and has written about the building of every sim- 
ple kind of boat, from a raft to a cheap motor-boat, is brought together in 
this book. 

THE JACK OF ALL TRADES. Or, New Ideas for 

American Boys Illustrated by the author 

"This book is a capital one to give any boy for a present at Christmas, on 
a birthday, or indeed at any time." — The Outlook. 

THE BOY PIONEERS. Sons of Daniel Boone 

Illustrated by the author 

"How to become a member of the 'Sons of Danitl Boone' and take part in 
all the old pioneer games, and many other things in which boys are inter- 
ested." — Philadelphia Press. 


"A genuine thriller of mystery and red-blooded conflicts, well calculated to 
hold the mind and the heart of its boy and, for that matter, its adult 
reader." — Philadelphia North American. 


^y LiNA Beard and Adelia B, Beard 


Amuse Yourself and Others 

With nearly 500 illustrations 

"It is a treasure which, once possessed, no practical girl would will- 
ingly part with." — Grace Greenwood. 


With some 600 drawings by the authors. that show exactly how they should 
be done 

"The book will tell you how to do nearly anything that any live girl 
really wants to do." — The World To-day. 


With over 700 illustrations by the authors 

"It teaches how to make serviceable and useful things of all kinds 
out of every kind of material. It also tells how to play and how to 
make things to play with." — Chicago Evening Post. 

for Work and Play 

With more than 300 illustrations by the authors 

"It would be a dull girl who could not make herself busy and happy 
following its precepts. ... A most inspiring book for an active- 
minded girl." — Chicago Record-Herald. 


Illustrated by the authors 

This volume tells how a girl can live outdoors, camping in the woods, 

and learning to know its wild inhabitants. 


Profusely illustrated by the authors 

How children can make toys easily and economically from wild 

flowers, grasses, green leaves, seed-vessels, fruits, etc. 


With many illustrations 

Contains a wealth of devices for entertaining children by means of 
paper building-cards, wooden berry-baskets, straw and paper furni- 
ture, paper jewelry, etc.